The number of Indian students going to the UK might have dwindled in five years, but the US continues to be their most sought after destination. Their number was pegged at 1.66 million in the current academic year, a 25 % spike from the last. This makes Indians the fastest growing foreign students’ group in the US.
The inflow of Indian students to the US registered a decline from 2011 to 2014, but it has witnessed an increase since 2015. The last academic year had witnessed an increase by 29.4 %. US officials attribute it to the easing of entry norms and “the highest priority the country accords to people-to-people contact”. The dip in UK-bound students due to tightening of post-study visa norms may have also played a role.
The number of Indian students to the UK halved to 2000 in five years primarily due to restriction in post-study visa. Nearly 85% of Indian students head to five countries: the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. China and Germany are also emerging as destinations.
Though Chinese top the charts of foreign students with 3.28 million, the rate of increase is only 8 %, according to the Open Doors report published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.