Intake of Indians for PG studies in US goes up

The country is the most desired education hub for Indians; enrolment up by 6.1 pc in 2013-14

Intake of Indians for PG studies in US goes up

A report by Education USA, a network which is supported by the United States Department of State, has revealed that the number of students opting for universities in the US for postgraduate studies has increased by 11.8 per cent in the last year.

This makes the US the most desired education destination for Indians. According to the report, in 2012-13, 54,607 Indian students had enrolled as postgraduates in the US, while in 2013-14, it was 61,058 students.

The report also states that 60 per cent of the Indian students in the US are in postgraduate programmes. The total number of Indian students opting for higher studies there has gone up by 6.1 per cent, from 86,754 students in 2012-13 to 102,673 in 2013-14.

As much as 30 per cent of the increase in numbers for postgraduate programmes is said to have come in from Bengaluru - approximately 2,400 students. And out of the total number of Indian students (1,02,673), approximately 30,000-35,000 are from Bengaluru. This is as per an estimate that says 30 per cent of the visa applications were from Bengaluru.

According to the report, the increase in the numbers in 2013-14 can be attributed to the stabilised Indian rupee and easily available bank loans to study abroad.

It can also be attributed to the stabilisation of the economy and the job market there.
“Students and their families are savvy, making decisions about higher education destinations after cautious scrutiny of local and international economies,” the report states.

Families expect to have a return on investment through the Optional Practical Training Programmes (OTP), that allow international students to work in paid positions for 12 months after completion of their degree programme in the US, and for an additional 17 months if in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields.

The improved economy allows Indian students to feel confident that there will be jobs available when they are ready to avail the OTP, the report states.

The United States hosts more of the world’s 4.5 million globally mobile college students than any other country in the world, with almost double the number hosted by the United Kingdom, the second leading host country.

In 2013-14, there were 66,408 more international students enrolled in the US for  higher education compared to the previous year. While students from China and Saudi Arabia together account for 73 per cent of the growth, a wider range of countries contributed to the increase, with India, Brazil, Iran and Kuwait together accounting for an additional 18 per cent of growth.

The number of Indian students going up by 6.1 per cent was a reversal of a three-year trend of declining number of Indian students on US campuses.

The fastest growing student populations in the US in 2013-14 were from Kuwait, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, all countries whose governments invest heavily in scholarships for international studies, to develop a globally competent workforce. The fastest growing region this year was the Middle East and North Africa, with an increase of 20 per cent of students.

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