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India sends most students to US

The maximum number of foreign students in the US comes from India, according to a new report showing a record number of foreign students at US universities and colleges.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2009 10:23 IST

The maximum number of foreign students in the US comes from India, according to a new report showing a record number of foreign students at US universities and colleges.

Asia dominated the foreign student population, with India leading the way again for the eighth straight year with 103,260 students in the US -- a nine-percent increase in 2008-09 over the previous school year, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE), which released the report Monday.

China followed with 98,510 students, a 21-percent jump. South Korea holds third place with 75,065 students, a nine-percent jump.

All told, there were 671,616 international students at US tertiary institutions in 2008-09, an eight-percent increase over the previous year, the annual report, titled Open Doors, said.

Other countries sending significant numbers of students included Canada, the only non-Asian country in the top five, with 29,697; Japan with 29,264, a 14-percent decrease; Taiwan with 28,065 students; Mexico with 14,850; and Turkey with 13,263, a 10-percent increase.

"Saudi Arabia, the 10th leading sender, increased by 28 percent to 12,661, consistent with its substantial investment in government-funded scholarships," the organization said in a press statement.

Ranks 11-20 were held by Nepal, Germany, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Britain, Hong Kong, France, Colombia and Nigeria.

Universities in California were the favourite destination of international students, followed by New York and Texas.

The University of Southern California alone had the largest number of international students at 7,482.

The most popular field of study for foreign students was business and management, followed by engineering, math and computer science.

International students contributed $17.8 billion to the US economy, the institute said, citing government figures. Seventy percent of the primary funding for the students comes from sources outside the US.