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13 November 2017, 07:33 | Opal Carroll
Indian students accounted for 17.3% of the total foreign students in the US in 2016-17
The annual 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released today shows a 3 percent drop in the number of international students attending US colleges for the 2016-17 school year, with a potential 7 percent drop in 2017-18.
Purdue's ranking in the study overseas category improved to 23rd with 1,993 domestic students studying overseas. Indiana University is No. 19 overall with 7,502.
In the first class to apply to and enroll in American colleges since the 2016 election, the number of new foreign students fell over 3%, according to the Institute for International Education - the first time in the report's 12-year history that there was a decline in new enrollment.
The majority of Indian students in the United States study at the graduate level, the report said, adding in 2016-17, their breakdown was: 11.8 per cent undergraduate; 56.3 per cent graduate students; 1.2 per cent other; and 30.7 per cent OPT (Optional Practical Training) Last year, Indian students in USA colleges and universities contributed Dollars 6.54 billion to the U.S. economy, the report said, citing a Department of Commerce figure. Open Doors 2017 reports that about two thirds of all worldwide students funded their education through personal and family sources as well as assistance from their home country governments or universities.
Purdue University ranks eighth overall in the top 25 leading host institutions list with 11,288 global students enrolled during the 2016-2017 academic year.
This is the first time that these numbers had declined in the six years since Open Doors has reported new enrolments. "As more countries become active hosts of worldwide students and implement national strategies to attract them, the competition for top global talent in higher education and the workforce will only intensify".
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No one factor led to the decline in new students, Goodman said during a phone conference with reporters last week.
The scaling back of large Saudi and Brazilian government scholarship programs were a significant factor, said Rajika Bhandari, research and evaluation specialist for the Institute of International Education.
However, only 20 percent of institutions indicate that some of their foreign students have expressed the desire to leave or have left the U.S.as a result of the current climate.
Meanwhile, Nepal and Bangladesh saw the biggest increases in students attending US colleges, though their overall numbers are still low.
The list has been topped by China with 350,755 students followed by India with 186,267 students. "Concerns around the travel ban had a lot to do with concerns around personal safety based on a few incidents involving global students, and a generalized concern about whether they're safe", Bhandari told The Times.
The colleges cited several factors in declining enrollment, including competition from other countries, the cost of USA higher education, visa delays or denials, and an uncertain US social and political climate, the institute said.
"They may need to be more intentional in recruitment", he said. Nationally, the leading destinations for studying overseas are the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and China. "Much of the increase reported for the past couple of years can be attributed to more students pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT) related to their academic fields after their degree studies, and thus remaining longer in the United States higher education system".
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