<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite anti-immigration sentiments during and after the heated presidential polls in the United States of America, number of Indian students going to United States has gone up by 25% in 2015-16, reveals the latest “Open Doors” report released in US on Monday.Nearly 1,66,000 students are studying in various US universities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at present compared to only 1,33,000 lakh students a year ago.On the other hand, only 4,438 US students came to India (a drop from 4,588 from the previous year), that too for short-term and semester-long courses, says the report.The Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.India accounts for one out of every six international students in the United States. Approximately three-fifths of Indian students are at the graduate level and three-fourths are in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics studies.While China remains the top country of origin of international students in the US, increasing by 8% to 328,000, India’s growth outpaced China’s second year in a row. Both the countries account for nearly half of the overseas enrolment in the US.“Students from China and India remained the leading countries of origin and accounted for 84% of the growth in international students in 2015-16. For the second year in a row, the largest growth was in the number of students from India, primarily at the graduate level and in optional practical training (OPT).” says the report. Richard R. Verma US Ambassador Higher education continues to be the bedrock of our people to people ties. More students from India studied in the United States than ever before – at all levels – and I am especially pleased to see the record back-to-back, year-on-year growth in student numbers.Overall, US saw 7% rise in the number of international students in 2015-16 with more than one million overseas students studying in US varsities. International students bring nearly $36 billion to the US economy.Slow pace of reforms in the Indian higher education sector and the skewed number of world class institutions are supposed to be two main factors behind increasing exodus of Indian talent to US and other countries.Moreover, increased efforts of US varsities in wooing Indian students is another major factor behind this jump, say experts.Indian government has started ranking of our institutions, have opened new IIMs and IITs but these are too little too late, say academicians.“The government announced a slew of measures but they are yet to be delivered. New education policy is yet to be implemented. None of our institutions figure in the list of top 200 Universities in the world. Reforms in University education seems is still far away making youngsters anxious and looking for better options abroad,” says a professor of Mumbai University. “Unless we expand quality University education, we would continue losing out a higher number of bright brains to the west along with foreign reserve,” said an India student currently studying in a Stanford University. However, International politics expert give credit of this steep rise to the improvement in diplomatic relations between India and US recently due to personal cordial relations between the two state heads-Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and outgoing US president Barack Obama.There are other factors too such as a decline in interest for universities in UK. “US varsities have gained on a declining interest of Indians for UK Universities in last three years mainly due to the introduction of stricter visa norms by the UK government,” says an overseas education expert.

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Despite anti-immigration sentiments, number of Indian students going to US rise by 25% this year: Report