According to the 2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the number of Indians studying in the United States increased by almost three percent over the last year to 2,02,014. This marks the sixth consecutive year that the total number of Indians pursuing their higher education in the United States has grown. However, it is important to note that growth in number of students is different from growth rate of students opting US as their dream destination.
Speaking at the United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF), the U.S. Embassy’s Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs Charisse Phillips said, "Student exchanges between our two countries help strengthen the foundation upon which our strategic partnership is built. Indian students are looking for a great education and the United States offers the best return on this investment.” According to the report, Indians make up over 18 percent of all international students in the US colleges. India provided the second-highest number of graduate students and jumped up to third place in undergraduates.
Karl Adam, First Secretary, Cultural Affairs, added, “Our system of education offers practical application and experience which gives any graduate an advantage in the job market. We want to help Indian students with credible and official information on studying in the United States and that’s why we have seven Education USA advising centers across India and a free mobile app called Education USA India now available on iOS and Android.”
"We are happy to see the continued growth in the number of international students in the United States and US students studying abroad," said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. "Promoting international student mobility remains a top priority for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and we want even more students in the future to see the United States as the best destination to earn their degrees," she said.
It is important to note that while there has been a growth in the number of Indian students, the number of visas to Indian students has declined. There were 74,831 students who obtained US visa in 2015, but in 2018, only 42,694 could secure the United States visa. In other words the growth in number of students should be seen separately from the growth rate. It is said that the strict visa policy of the host country has caused a decline in the growth rate of students heading to study in US colleges.
The report says that the top places of origin for international students studying in the United States were China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil and Mexico. The top host states were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. Students from India and China account for more than 50 per cent of international students, said the report that was released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.