Despite a five per cent overall drop, India continues to be the top place of origin for international students coming to the United States for higher studies for the fifth year in a row.
According to the latest 'Open Doors 2006 International Students in the United States' report released on Monday, India sent a total of 76,503 students to US to study in 2005-2006, a decrease of 5 per cent from the previous year (80,466), followed by China, Republic of Korea, Japan and Canada.
Students from the leading four places of origin — India, China, Korea and Japan — comprise 42 per cent of all international students enrolled in US higher education.
Out of this total, Indian students accounted for 13.5 per cent of all foreign students, followed closely by China (11.5 per cent) and Korea (10.4 per cent).
As for total international student enrolment (564,766), the number of international students studying in the US has remained steady, within a fraction of a per cent of the previous year's totals (565,039).
A new analysis included in Open Doors for the first time shows colleges and universities reporting an 8 per cent increase in new enrolments for 2005-06.
Educating international students is a $13.5 billion industry for the nation's 4,000 colleges and universities, and in many science and engineering departments a majority of graduate students are foreign.