For the third year in a row, a record number of Indian students have travelled to the United States to pursue higher education. According to the Open Doors Report (ODR) released this month, the number of international students from India to the United States has increased by 35 per cent and clinched an all-time high of 2,68,923 students in the academic year 2022-2023.
Indian students constitute more than 25 per cent of the over one million foreign students studying in the United States. The release of the Open Doors Report marks the beginning of International Education Week (IEW), which celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
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 US Department of State - Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972.
The Open Doors Report data states, India surpassed China to become the largest source of international graduate students in the United States for the first time since 2009-2010. The number of Indian graduate students rose by 63 percent to 1,65,936 students, an increase of nearly 64,000 students, compared to last year, while Indian undergraduate students also increased by 16 percent.
ODR data also shows India leading in the number of individuals (69,062) who pursued optional practical training (OPT), a type of temporary work permission that allows eligible students to get real-world experience related to their field of study.
The US Embassy and consulates in India issued record high numbers of student visas during the main student visa season of June-August 2023. Consular officers across India issued 95,269 visas in the F, M, and J categories. This is an 18 per cent increase over 2022 during the same time-frame.
US ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said: “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 US students coming to experience all that India has to offer.”
To assist Indian students in finding the right study opportunity, the US Department of State offers free advising services to prospective students, both virtually and in-person, at six EducationUSA advising centres throughout India in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and two in Hyderabad. All six centers are staffed by EducationUSA advisers who offer accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information about opportunities to study in the United States, helping Indian students find the best program and fit from among more than 4,500 accredited US higher-education institutions.