The number of Indian students studying in the US has gone up to over 165,000 during academic year 2015-16, a growth of 25 per cent over the previous year, says a report released on Monday.
According to the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, there are 165,918 students from India, making it the second leading country of origin among international students in the US.
“This was the highest absolute increase of students ever and followed the previous year’s record growth,” said a statement released by the US consulate here.
India accounts for one out of every six international students in the US.
Approximately three-fifths of Indian students are at the graduate level and three-fourths are in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
“Higher education continues to be the bedrock of our people-to-people ties.
“More students from India studied in the US than ever before — at all levels — and I am especially pleased to see the record back-to-back, year-on-year growth in student numbers,” said US Ambassador Richard R. Verma.
“With efforts such as our Passport to India initiative, we are also seeing the number of American students in India beginning to grow,” he added.
The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
According to the report, the number of international students in US colleges and universities surpassed one million for the first time during the 2015-16 academic year.
The number of international students increased by seven per cent over the previous year to a new high of nearly 1,044,000, representing five per cent of the total student population at US institutions.
This strong growth confirms that the US remains the destination of choice in higher education.
In 2015-16, there were nearly 69,000 more international students in US higher education compared to the previous year.
Michele Bond, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, had said in Hyderabad recently that last year, the US mission in India issued 60,000 student visas.
The US consulate general in Hyderabad issued the largest number of student visas in India, more than any of the consulates and the embassy.
“This consulate general in Hyderabad issues fifth largest number of student visas in the world. It is at fifth position among more than 200 embassies and consulates around the world,” she had said.
Open Doors also reports that more than 313,000 US students received credit last year for study abroad during 2014-15, an increase of nearly three per cent over the previous year.
India is ranked 13th among the top 25 destinations of US study abroad.
The number of US students going to India to study for academic credit at their home university in the US decreased by 3.2 per cent to 4,438, although this number has remained relatively flat across the last five years at 4,500.
The release of the new Open Doors data marks the celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from other countries to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the US.