India Sent More Than 2 Lakh Students To U.S. In 2018-19, Second Only To China: Open Doors Report
Banners of U.S. universities are displayed in a classroom as participants attend a counseling session given by the University of Southern California (USC) at the United States-India Education Foundation (USIEF) in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg) 

India Sent More Than 2 Lakh Students To U.S. In 2018-19, Second Only To China: Open Doors Report

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India sent more than 2 lakh students to the U.S. in 2018-19, the second largest after China, which for the tenth consecutive year remained the largest source of foreign students in America, according to a report released on Monday.

The '2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange' said the number of foreign students in the U.S. set an all-time high in the 2018/19 academic year, the fourth consecutive year with more than one million international students.

The data from the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that international students contributed $44.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018, an increase of 5.5 percent from the previous year.

For the tenth consecutive year, China has remained the largest source of international students in the U.S. in 2018-19 with 369,548 students and India with 202,014 students sends the second largest number of foreign students to the United States, the report said.

The total number of international students was 1,095,299, a 0.05 percent increase over last year, it said, adding that international students make up 5.5 percent of the total U.S. higher education population.

Students from India and China account for more than 50 percent of international students, said the report that was released by the Institute of International Education and U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“We are happy to see the continued growth in the number of international students in the United States and U.S. students studying abroad,” said Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

"Promoting international student mobility remains a top priority for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and we want even more students in the future to see the United States as the best destination to earn their degrees," she said.

According to the report, China remained the largest source of international students in the United States in 2018/19 with 369,548 students in undergraduate, graduate, non-degree, and optional practical training programs, a 1.7 percent increase from 2017/18.

India (202,014, +2.9 percent), South Korea (52,250), Saudi Arabia (37,080), and Canada (26,122, +0.8 percent) round out the top five, the report said.

Emerging market countries showed some of the strongest growth year-on-year, especially Bangladesh (+10.0 percent), Brazil (+9.8 percent), Nigeria (+5.8 percent), and Pakistan (+5.6 percent), the report said.

As many as 51.6 percent of international students in the U.S. pursued science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields in 2018/19 and the number of international students in Math and Computer Science programs grew by 9.4 percent, surpassing Business and Management to become the second-largest field of study for international students, it said. Engineering remained the largest academic field for international students in 2018/19, with 21.1 percent of all international students.

The number of students enrolling for the first time at a U.S. institution in 2018/19 declined by 0.9 percent, recovering from sharper declines the year before, it said. According to the report, in the 2017/18 academic year, 341,751 U.S. students participated in study abroad programmes for academic credit, a 2.7 percent increase over the previous year.

European countries remain the most popular destinations for U.S. study abroad students with 54.9 percent of study abroad students going to Europe in 2017/18. The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany hosted the most U.S. study abroad students, it said.

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