Number of Indian students in the US feel to 3-year low in FY20: Report

Number of Indian students in the US feel to 3-year low in FY20: Report

With frequent changes in visa norms and the anti-immigration mood during the Donald Trump regime, the number of Indians studying in the US fell to a three-year low at 193,124.

According to the latest Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange (IIE), the number of Indian students studying in American universities and colleges fell 4.4 per cent in 2019-20 (FY20) year-on-year (YoY), against 5.3 per cent growth in 2017-18 (FY18) at 196,271 and 2.92 per cent in 2018-19 (FY19) at 202,014.

Released annually, the Open Doors Report on IIE depicts trends around international students in the US as well as US students studying abroad, and is sponsored by the US Department of State with funding provided by the US government.

Since the total number of international students in the US also includes those working on optional practical training (OPT), experts believe the decline in Indian students is actually defective of three years. The OPT period is for three years for students from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) background.

“The decrease had started with Trump’s rise to power and the sentiments turning negative due to the constant rhetoric. This, coupled with Canada turning more immigrant friendly, had many students move to Canada,” said Sumeet Jain, co-founder and higher education expert, Yocket.

As such, overseas education experts like Jain had expected the fall in numbers. For the past few years, the number of new students going to the US had been decreasing. Moreover, the number of F1 visas issued to international students had also been on the slide.

At 18 per cent, the Indian student population in the US is second only to China, which forms nearly 35 per cent of the total international students studying in the US. Incidentally, India is not the only country to witness a dip in students in the US. While Chinese students in the US rose marginally by 0.8 per cent in FY20 over the previous year at 372,532, South Korea fell 4.7 per cent to 49,809 students to the US.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor