Indians form second largest group of intl students in US

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A total of 1,86,267 students from India were studying in the US during 2016-17

OH had the nation's eighth-largest foreign student enrollment in 2016 with 38,680 students, a 2.5 percent increase from 2015, according to an annual report.

The Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published by the Institute of International Education, was released Monday.

The global enrollment data is not a crisis but is "more of a wake-up call where this is the beginning of a flattening trend, " Rajika Bhandari, head of research, policy and practice at the Institute of worldwide Education, which publishes the annual survey with funding from the U.S. State Department, told Inside Higher Ed.

The list has been topped by China with 350,755 students followed by India with 186,267 students. Furthermore, the record also marks the eleventh consecutive year of continued expansion for the total number of worldwide students in United States higher education, said the report.

But the number of new foreign students enrolling as freshmen in USA universities in 2016 decreased for the first time in years, while more US students are studying overseas, the report states.

Indian students' flow to the U.S. for higher educational studies rose 12.3% in 2016-17, a three-year low, amid concerns over changes in American immigration rules.

As per Open Doors data, in 2016-17, 62,537 got the F1 Visa, down from 74,831 students in the previous year, a 16.43% decline.

The White House's proposed travel bans and separate reports of violence against immigrants had fueled fears of a sharp decline in students coming from overseas. "Given all the benefits that worldwide students bring, we now face increasing global competition for this talent. 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", said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Policy in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Alyson L Grunder.

"So many campuses are used to having very large numbers of Brazilians, very large numbers of Saudis, and now they need to think more about diversification", said Allan Goodman, president of the institute.

About 325,000 Americans studied overseas previous year, while almost 1.1 million worldwide students came to colleges here.

Noting that students continue to be attracted to the high quality and diverse opportunities offered by colleges and universities in the U.S., he said it is critical for USA institutions to set strategic goals and be proactive in reaching out to students and families in a wide range of countries in the coming year.

But students and study officials agreed that political changes in the US are impacting the market for recruiting global students.

The top host states were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

The number of H1B visas issued to Indians increased by 5.6 per cent in 2016-17.

"The scaling back of large Saudi and Brazil government scholarship programs were a significant factor, as the number of students from those two countries showed the biggest decreases at all levels, including non-degree study", officials said in a press release.

But India slipped in rank to 15th from 13th among top 25 destinations of USA study overseas.

Institutions are concerned about recruitment for Fall 2018, particularly from the Middle East and North Africa and Asia.

With two-thirds of all worldwide students in the United States from Asia, apprehensions are likely related to the fact that any shifts in student interest would significantly impact overall enrolment, it said.

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