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Number of students from India in US down by 4 percent

Posted on Nov 13, 03:48PM | UNI

The number of students from India in the US decreased by nearly 4 per cent in the 2011-12 academic year when compared with the previous year, according to a report by the Institute of International Education.

This was the second successive year that such a decrease took place, said the report , which was released yesterday.

Nearly 60 percent Indian students are in engineering, math and computer sciences.

California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Illinois are the top five states that attract foreign students.

Factors causing the decreases may include global and home-country economic factors, increasing higher-education opportunities at home and stronger employment opportunities in respective countries after graduation.

There were 100,270 Indian students during the year. However, the number of students from China, another major contributor of foreign students in the US, rose by 23 per cent.

The total number of foreign students in the US was put at 764,495-a 5.6 percent rise over the previous year. The current figure is a record, according to the institute which was founded in New York. It has branches in several US cities and other countries.

Findings of the Open Doors report, as it is known, were published annually by the Institute of International Education, in partnership with the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

"Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders," said Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. "International education creates strong, lasting relationships between the US and emerging leaders worldwide.

Students return home with new perspectives and a global skill-set that will allow them to build more prosperous, stable societies." The growth is mainly following a sharp rise in the number of students from China, particularly at the undergraduate level.

Chinese student enrollments increased by 23 percent in total and by 31 percent at the undergraduate level.

Big rises in undergraduate students from Saudi Arabia, funded by the government, also explain partly why international undergraduates studying in the US now outnumber international graduate students, for the first time in 12 years.

The continued growth in international students coming to the US for higher education has a significant positive economic impact on the US. International students contribute more than 22.7 billion dollars to the US economy, according to the Department of Commerce.

In the 2010-11 academic year, 273,996 American students studied abroad for academic credit, an increase of 1 percent-an all-time high. US students studying abroad increased in 17 of the top 25 destination countries.

Five percent more students studied in China and 12 percent more students studied in India than in the previous year. Open Doors 2012 report said the UK remained the leading destination for American students, followed by Italy, Spain, France and China-which remained the fifth largest host destination for the fifth year.

There were significant increases in the number of Americans studying in several "non-traditional" destinations outside Europe: Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India and South Korea.