India has emerged as a leading country of origin for international students studying in the United States, with record-breaking numbers in the 2022-23 academic year. According to recent data, there were a staggering 268,923 Indian students studying in the US, marking a significant 35% increase from the previous year. China still holds the top spot as the leading sender of students, although it experienced a negative growth rate of -0.2% year-over-year.
The overall number of international students in the US reached over one million in the 2022-23 academic year, demonstrating a commendable 12% increase compared to the previous year. The surge in Indian students can be primarily attributed to a remarkable 63% increase in graduate student numbers, reaching an impressive total of 165,936. Undergraduate student numbers also witnessed growth, with a 16% increase to 31,954.
The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which allows students to gain practical experience in their fields of study, remains highly popular among Indian students. A staggering 69,062 students from India made use of this program. It is worth noting that Indian students tend to gravitate towards fields of study in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), particularly in math and computer science.
Contrary to concerns about job opportunities, the data indicates robust growth and continued interest from Indian students to pursue their education in the US. The Fall 2023 snapshot reveals a 17% increase in international students on OPT, reinforcing the positive trend. Moreover, the rebound of international graduates seeking post-study work opportunities contributed to an 8% increase in the total number of international students on OPT, amounting to 198,793 students.
US institutions have also reported a rise in new Indian student enrollments for the 2023-24 academic year compared to the previous year, further reflecting the growing momentum of international student mobility. In fact, the number of first-time international students at US colleges and universities increased by 14% year-over-year to a notable 298,523 students, building upon the 80% increase from the prior year.
Graduate student enrollment witnessed the highest growth, with an astonishing 21% increase from the previous year, accounting for 467,027 international students pursuing master’s, doctorate, or professional degrees. Additionally, undergraduate student enrollment experienced a 1% increase, marking the first growth in five years.
The strong educational relationship between India and the US is further emphasized by the issuance of over 140,000 student visas in India, the highest number in two decades. This reaffirms the deepening ties and the appeal of pursuing higher education in the United States among Indian students.
In conclusion, India’s presence as a leading country of origin for international students in the US continues to strengthen. The impressive growth in Indian students, particularly in the graduate student segment, showcases the robust interest and momentum surrounding international student mobility. This trend not only supports the vibrant educational synergy between India and the US but also contributes to the enriching multicultural environment on American campuses.
“Zombie enthusiast. Subtly charming travel practitioner. Webaholic. Internet expert.”