MUMBAI: The number of Indian students heading to the US for higher education recorded a robust jump of 29.4 per cent to 1,32,888 in the 2014/15 academic year, according to a report, beating China in terms of growth.
The United States also remained the most preferred destination in higher education for students from not only India but other countries as well.
The 2015 ‘Open Doors Report’ on international educational exchange, released today, found that China remained the top country of origin of international students in the US with enrolment rising by 11 per cent to 3,04,040.
However, India’s growth outpaced China’s, rising by 29.4 per cent to a record high of 1,32,888 students in 2014-15. This is the highest rate of growth for Indian students in the history of the ‘Open Doors’ project, which spans back to 1954/55.
The last time India grew at a comparable rate (29.1) was in 2000/01 when the number of students from the country exceeded 50,000 for the first time.
The increase of more than 30,000 in the total number of students from India represents the largest growth from a single country, the report said.
Approximately 80 per cent of all Indian students in the US are in the fields of engineering, math / computer science and business.
The 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.
After three years of drop in numbers of Indian students at US campuses, the trend reversed previous academic year and is now gaining momentum.
In 2014/15, China and India together accounted for 67 per cent of the total increase in international students. They now constitute nearly 45 per cent of the total number of international students in US higher education, with 31 per cent coming from China and 14 per cent from India, it said.
India sent more students to the US for studies than the next two countries combined – South Korea and Saudi Arabia – which, however, do surpass India in the number of undergraduate students.
The report said the number of international students at US colleges and universities had the highest rate of growth in 35 years, increasing by 10 per cent to a record high of 9,74,926 students in 2014/15. This strong growth confirms that the US remains the destination of choice in higher education.
The report also found the number of US students studying abroad rose by 5 per cent in 2013/14, the highest rate of growth since the 2008 economic downturn. India was the 12th destination for US students.