|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
India among top student providers to US universities
Suman Guha Mozumder in New York | November 15, 2005 00:51 IST
India continues to remain the top source of foreign students coming to the United States for higher studies for the fourth year in a row even though the total number of foreign students declined slightly in 2004-2005 compared to the previous year.
According to the latest Open Doors 2005 International Students in the United States report released Monday morning, India sent a total of 80,466 students to US to study in 2004-2005, up from 79,736 in 2003-2004, followed by China, Republic of Korea, Japan and Canada.
As a percentage of total foreign students in the US, which stood at 565,321, Indian students accounted for 14.2 per cent of all foreign students.
While 72 per cent of students from India studied at graduate level during the academic year, 20 per cent enrolled in undergraduate level and 7.2 per cent in other courses.
For the fourth year in a row, the University of Southern California, with 6,846 international students in 2004-2005, was the US university with the largest number of international students, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, moving up from sixth place, followed by University of Texas at Austin, Columbia University and New York University.
The report noted that while India remains the largest sending country for the fourth consecutive year registering a modest one percent increase over the previous year's enrollments, the rate of growth of India is considerably slower than the double-digit increases experienced over the past three years 12 per cent in 2003-04, 23 per cent in 2002-03, and 29 per cent in 2001-02.
There was no immediate explanation for the slower growth rate of India. However, the report said that slight overall decline in international students enrolled in US colleges and universities has been because of several factors, including real and perceived difficulties in obtaining student visas especially in scientific and technical fields, rising US tuition costs, vigorous recruitment activities by other English-speaking nations, and perceptions abroad that it is more difficult for international students to come to the United States.
According to Allan E Goodman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of International Education, "Colleges and universities have been proactive in reaching out to international students to let them know that they are welcome here."
He said that strong recruitment, combined with more efficient and transparent student visa processes, have begun to stem the tide of decreasing international student enrollment. "We need to continue these concerted efforts to get the word out that our doors are open to international students, in order to attract the best and the brightest students from all over the world,' he said.
Commenting on the 2004 report of Professor Jane E Schukoske, executive director on International Educational Exchange with India said that the report sends a resounding message that the US continues to welcome students. "The increase in students going to the US for graduate studies reflects the fact that these students with focused career goals, are undeterred by misconceptions about access to the US universities and visas,' Schukoske said.