For the third year in a row, a record number of Indian students traveled to the United States to pursue higher education with a 35% increase resulting in an all-time high of 268,923 students in academic year 2022-23.
Indian students constitute more than 25% of the over one million foreign students studying in the United States, according to the annual Open Doors Report (ODR) released Monday.
India surpassed China to become the largest source of international graduate students in the United States for the first time since 2009/10, according to the report prepared by the State Department in collaboration with the Institute of International Education (IIE).
International students’ annual impact to US economy is $38 billion and 335,000 Jobs with Indian students accounting for $7,137,000,000 in 2022, according to the report.
The number of Indian graduate students rose by 63% to 165,936 students, an increase of nearly 64,000 students, compared to last year, while Indian undergraduate students also increased by 16%.
ODR data also shows India leading in the number of individuals (69,062) who pursued optional practical training (OPT), a type of temporary work permission that allows eligible students to get real-world experience related to their field of study.
According to the Open Doors data, the United States was once again the top destination for international study in the 2022-2023 academic year, and with a 12% growth more than one million international students studied at US colleges and universities for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
India’s increasing presence underscores a shifting trend, with US universities strategically focusing on recruiting in India amid cooling international relations and growing competition from the UK and Canada.
For the second consecutive year, US graduate programs proved to be the primary attraction for international students, experiencing a notable 21% growth.
The surge was particularly pronounced in math and computer science programs, witnessing a 20% boost in enrolment. Engineering and business programs closely followed, collectively constituting more than half of all international students in the US.
International students, constituting 5.6% of all college students, continue to play a pivotal role in US higher education. Their enrollment not only facilitates global exchange but also contributes significantly to university revenue.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the recent rebound suggests a positive trend, with an 8% increase in international enrollment this fall, according to the report.
Meanwhile, US Embassy and Consulates in India issued record high numbers of student visas during the main student visa season of June-August 2023, according to an embassy release.
Consular officers across India issued 95,269 visas in the F, M, and J categories. This is an 18% increase over 2022 during the same timeframe.
US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti remarked, “You did it, India! Each and every Indian student in the United States and the families supporting their success deserve recognition for this achievement. The decision to study abroad, and your choice of the United States, represents a valuable investment by you and your families. You are bringing our countries closer together and leading us towards a bright future.
“We celebrate the strength of the Indian educational system that prepares students to compete globally and look forward to seeing India continue to lead. We also look forward to balancing these record numbers. We want to see equal numbers of women pursuing studies in the United States and see more U.S. students coming to experience all that India has to offer,” Garcetti added.
To assist Indian students in finding the right study opportunity, the US State department offers free advising services to prospective students, both virtually and in-person, at six EducationUSA advising centers throughout India in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and two in Hyderabad, the release stated.
All six centers are staffed by EducationUSA advisors who offer accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date information about opportunities to study in the United States, helping Indian students find the best program and fit from among more than 4,500 accredited US higher-education institutions.
Students and families seeking additional facts about studying in the United States can download the EducationUSA India app, available for free on iOS and Android devices.
The app provides the latest information about the college application process and is a quick and easy first step to planning higher education in the United States. Or visit https://educationusa.state.gov/country/in.