MUMBAI: The US continues to be a popular destination for
, though fewer are flying out because of unfriendly visa and immigration policies. The Indian student population in the US went up by 2.9% in 2018-19, as compared to 5.4% in 2017-18. The slide is reflected in the fall in fresh enrolments. The number of student visas (F-1) to Indians, which is reflective of fresh enrolment trends—a subset of the total international student population—fell by more than 40%—from 74,831 in 2015 to 42,694 in 2018, according to the US state department. Even globally, the number of student visas issued by the US decreased by close to 40% between 2015 and 2018.
American policies have negatively impacted the international student population in the US. International students enrolling for the first time at a US institution in 2018-19 declined by 0.9%, recovering from a sharper slide that started in 2015-16. Last year, new enrolments declined by 6.6%. Again, the fall continued into 2019-20 at the same pace (0.9%), according to data from the 2019 Fall International Student Enrolment Snapshot Survey.
Indians enrolling in American graduate programmes, which account for the largest slice of Indian students in the US, dropped by 5.6%. On the other hand, undergraduate numbers rose by 6.3%. The highest increase, 18.8%, was from non-degree courses; 12.3% came from optional practical training (OPT), and practical work experience after degree programmes for up to 36 months.
In all, the US now has 24,813 Indians at the undergraduate level, 90,333 in graduate programmes, 84,630 pursuing OPT, and 2,238 in non-degree courses. Falling interest in business management was offset by a newfound fancy for maths and statistics, which lead to jobs in data analysis and artificial intelligence.
The total number of international