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India Overtakes China as Top Contributor of International Graduate Students in US: Open Doors Report

Education Higher Education

India Overtakes China as Top Contributor of International Graduate Students in US: Open Doors Report


India has claimed the top spot as the largest source of international graduate students in the United States, surpassing China for the first time since the academic year 2009-10. This revelation comes from the recently published Open Doors Report (ODR), a collaborative effort between the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the U.S. government’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Released on Monday, the report indicates that Indian students have set a new record for the third consecutive year by choosing the United States as their destination for higher education. The number of Indian students pursuing education in the U.S. skyrocketed by 35%, reaching an unprecedented figure of 268,923 during the academic year 2022-23. This surge means that Indian students now constitute over 25% of the total international student population in the United States, as highlighted in a press release from the U.S. Embassy in India.

Breaking down the statistics further, the report reveals a remarkable 63% increase in the number of Indian graduate students, totaling 165,936 individuals—an astonishing rise of almost 64,000 students compared to the previous year. Additionally, undergraduate students from India showed a commendable 16% growth, contributing to the overall surge in Indian students opting for American higher education.

The report also sheds light on the popularity of optional practical training (OPT) among Indian students, with 69,062 individuals choosing this temporary work permission option to gain real-world experience related to their field of study in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India, the heightened interest in American education is evident in the record-high numbers of student visas issued during the primary student visa season of June to August 2023. Consular officers across India granted a total of 95,269 visas in the F, M, and J categories—an 18% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

As India emerges as the new leader in sending graduate students to the United States, this shift underscores the growing appeal of U.S. higher education among Indian students and signals a transformative trend in the landscape of international student mobility.


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