"The majority of Indian students (56%) in the US are studying at the (post) graduate level", George Hogeman, Consul General, US Embassy, told reporters, citing the numbers in the "2017 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange".
The 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange data released on Monday by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has revealed that the number of international students in the United States has increased by three percent over the previous year, and that the number of American students studying overseas has increased by four percent from the previous year. The majority of Indian students (56%) in the USA are studying at the graduate level.
Students from China and India made up almost half of all worldwide students previous year, reaching a combined 530,000.
The top host destinations for U.S. students studying overseas in 2015/16 were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and Germany.
USA higher education is increasingly focused on preparing students to secure jobs after graduation in order to advance their careers, and research has shown that studying overseas helps students develop the skills needed to succeed in today's interconnected world.
The breakdown reported 25.4% undergraduate, 60.5% graduate, 12.8% Optional Practical Training (OPT) and 1.4% for other educational purposes in 2016-2017.
Europe was found to be the top host region, attracting more than half of USA students who studied overseas, followed by Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.
In New Delhi, Karl Adams, deputy cultural affairs officer at the USA embassy, said that though he would not speculate on the reason for the lower numbers, the 12.3% increase in the number of Indian students in the U.S. was certainly a great number and his country "welcomes" genuine Indian students.
China dropped out of the top five host countries, as the number of USA students studying there decreased by 9%.
The Open Doors reported was published by the IIE, after an annual statistical survey on global students in the United States in October this year.
The factors driving the decline include a mix of global and local economic conditions, and in some cases, expanded higher education opportunities at home and declining populations, the report said.
"The US higher education sector remains the global leader in welcoming students from around the world, and at the same time, we are committed to increasing opportunities to study overseas for Americans", Grunder said.
IIE president and CEO Allan E Goodman said that countries and multinational employers around the world are competing to attract top talents. The American higher education system introduces worldwide students to networks and contacts that provide benefits and advantages over a lifetime. Hence, the United States must keep its academic doors open to students from all over the world. Each of these states saw increases in worldwide students in 2016/17.
Recruiting concerns were also reported for: Asia/excluding China and India (73 per cent), China (71 per cent), and India (68 per cent).