Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Indian Graduate Students Are Flocking to the U.S.


By Jordan Friedman
World Education Services

We recently blogged about new data from the Student Exchange Visitor Program that revealed a 32 percent increase last year in the total number of Indian students in the U.S. Indian graduate students in particular have expressed increased interest in a U.S. education in recent years. So, what’s with the surge in Indian graduate students coming to the U.S.? Let’s take a closer look.

Fewer Indian students are choosing Australia and the U.K.: 

Science magazine interviewed Peggy Blumenthal, who worked for the Institute of International Education (IIE) for more than 30 years, in November. She told the magazine that in the past, many Indian college graduates would select the United Kingdom or Australia along with the U.S. as popular study abroad destinations. But in the past few years, the U.K. has experienced “tuition increases, visa restrictions and a tightening of rules for those seeking work permits after college,” Science magazine reported. The country has experienced a nearly 50 percent drop in the number of its Indian students since 2010, as NDTV reported in May this year.

Australia has experienced several years of decline in its number of Indian students pursuing an education there as well. The reasons: Not only are institutions in other countries increasing their international presence, but students have expressed concerns about their safety in the country and have experienced greater difficulties gaining permanent residency in Australia after changes to the country’s migration program, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

India’s economy is starting to improve: 

It costs money to move to the U.S., and as India’s economy continues to improve, more Indian citizens are getting visas (last year saw a 20 percent increase). The Wall Street Journal recently described India as “one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.” Consequently, an increasing number of Indians choose to travel to the U.S. for education as well as business, investment, and tourism.

The U.S. offers a high quality education: 

Some of the world’s most selective and competitive schools exist in the U.S., but Indian students have also been drawn to American universities because the demand for highly skilled workers has increased in their home country. You can read more about the qualities of the U.S. universities that attract Indian students – including work experience and campus life – on our blog.

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