The number of Indian students studying in the US has fallen for the second consecutive year, according to the annual Open Doors Report released by the Institute of International Education in the US on Monday.
In 2011-12, there were 1,00,270 Indians at American universities, down from 1,03,895 in the previous year and 1,04,897 the year before that. In 2009-10, China upst-aged India for the top spot in terms of students at US universities. Though India is still number two, the number of Indian students is down 3.5%.
Indians make up for 13% of the total international student population in the US, second to China’s 25%. Of the 1,00,270 Indians, 13% are undergraduates, 59% graduate students and 27% pursuing practical training programmes.
The report, which annually surveys international students in the US, is published in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“The factors for the decline may include global and home country economic factors, growing higher education opportunities at home, and stronger employment opportunities at home after graduation,” said a note issued by the institute, on the decline of students from countries such as India, South Korea and Japan.
However, experts pointed out other factors. “It is probably the non-serious students who would have chosen lower tier universities that have been eliminated,” said Pratibha Jain, an international education consultant. “Visa restrictions have become stricter and such students may feel that the likelihood of them getting a job after completing their studies is low.”