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US remains top choice for Indian students to pursue higher education: Report

Washington, DC: The United States remains a top-notch destination for Indian students to pursue higher education abroad, the US Embassy release said citing the Open Doors Report.

According to the Open Doors Report (ODR), the number of foreign students from India to the United States climbed by 35 per cent, reaching an all-time high of 268,923 students in the academic year 2022-23, the report added.

The US Department of State funds the Open Doors report, which is a definitive annual survey produced by the Institute of International Education (IIE) of foreign students and scholars in the United States and of US students studying abroad in credit-bearing courses.

Apart from highlighting the rate of growth of the international student population in the United States, the report also provides data on places of origin, sources of financial support, fields of study, host institutions, and academic level.
According to the data provided by the Open Doors Report, India has surpassed China to become the largest source of international graduate students in the United States for the first time since 2009-10. Moreover, the number of Indian students pursuing higher studies from the US skyrocketed by 63 per cent to 165,936 students, leading to an increase of nearly 64,000 students, compared to last year.

Indian undergraduate students also increased by 16 per cent, as per the report.

Indian students account for more than a quarter of the over one million international students studying in the United States.

The publication of the Open Doors Report heralds the start of International Education Week (IEW), which promotes the global advantages of international education and interaction.

According to ODR statistics, India also has the highest number of people (69,062) who pursued optional practical training (OPT), a sort of temporary work licence that allows qualifying students to gain real-world experience in their field of study, the US Embassy press release read, citing the ODR report.

During the major student visa season of June-August 2023, the US Embassy and Consulates in India granted a record-high number of student visas. In India, consular staff granted 95,269 visas in the F, M, and J categories. This marks an 18 per cent surge increase over the same timeframe.

The Ambassador of the US to India, Eric Garcetti had said that the Indian students studying in the US as well as their families deserve recognition for the achievement and success they have got.

"You did it, India! Each and every Indian student in the United States and the families supporting their success deserve recognition for this achievement. The decision to study abroad, and your choice of the United States, represents a valuable investment by you and your families. You are bringing our countries closer together and leading us towards a bright future. We celebrate the strength of the Indian educational system that prepares students to compete globally and look forward to seeing India continue to lead. We also look forward to balancing these record numbers. We want to see equal numbers of women pursuing studies in the United States and see more U.S. students coming to experience all that India has to offer," Garcetti remarked, according to the US Embassy release.
In order to help Indian students choose the ideal study opportunity, the US Department of State provides free advising services to prospective students, both digitally and in person, at six EducationUSA advising centres in India: New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and two in Hyderabad.

The Institute of International Education (IIE) publishes the Open Doors report. IIE conducts an annual statistical survey on international students in the United States since its founding in 1919 and in partnership with the U.S.

Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972.

Open Doors also reports on the number of international scholars at US universities and international students enrolled in pre-academic Intensive English Programs.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private sector exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs.

Approximately 50,000 participants annually embark on these exchange programs, including the flagship Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program. (ANI)

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