Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
Shape the future of international education at the ICEF Monitor Summit September 23rd 2024, InterContinental London - The O2
16th Sep 2015

US universities see 32% increase in Indian enrolment in 2015

The latest indicator of surging Indian enrolment in US education comes in the form of the August 2015 SEVIS by the Numbers report from the US government. Combined with data presented via a new interactive mapping tool, the figures show that the number of Indian students in the US grew from 113,649 in July 2014 to 149,999 in July 2015 – for a year-over-year increase of 31.98%. Needless to say, this is an interesting directional indicator of a continued strengthening of Indian student numbers in the US this year. It follows earlier reports from the Council of Graduate Schools, the IIE’s Open Doors, and others that all point to the growing importance of the Indian market as a driver of global mobility. As we have noted earlier, however, the US Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) data provides a distinct view into international enrolment trends in America. The SEVIS system is web-based and its reports are based on real-time data that provides a snapshot of international students in America as of the report date (or at least the previous month). Further, the SEVIS data casts a wider net to provide a more comprehensive view of international enrolment in the US. Open Doors is based on a survey of 3,000 accredited higher education institutions and so the focus is on those enrolled in academic study at US colleges. In contrast, SEVIS data reflects all levels of education, including primary and secondary school enrolments. Keeping that broader view in mind, the SEVIS data indicates a 9.12% increase in international enrolment in the US between July 2014 and July 2015, with key emerging markets, notably India, driving much of that growth.

All about graduate STEM studies

Graduate studies remain the focus for US-bound Indian students this year. Of the students currently enrolled in the US, 113,509 - or 75.7% - are studying at the master’s level (as opposed to only 9.3% in undergraduate programmes). And most Indian students – 81% according to the latest SEVIS report – are enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. This is by far the largest focus on STEM subjects represented by any national student group in America. In comparison, 38% of all international students in the US were enrolled in STEM programmes as of July 2015. The US relies on Asia for about 76% of its international enrolment base, and those students are slightly over-represented in STEM subjects in that 43% of all Asian students in America are enrolled in STEM programmes. percentage-of-students-enrolled-in-stem-fields-in-the-us-for-selected-asian-markets-july-2015 Percentage of students enrolled in STEM fields in the US for selected markets, July 2015. Source: SEVIS

Relating to China

As has been the case for some time, China remains the leading source of international students in the US by a considerable margin. top-ten-countries-of-citizenship-for-international-students-in-the-us-july-2015 Top ten countries of citizenship for international students in the US, July 2015. Source: SEVIS As has also reliably been the case, India is locked in place as the second-largest sending country for the US. The thing that separates the two over the last couple of years is the rate of growth exhibited by each market.

Against India’s nearly 32% growth from 2014 to 2015, Chinese enrolment grew by 10.13% over the same period.

These contrasting growth rates have been particularly in evidence with respect to graduate programmes in the US. Chinese enrolment in such programmes has been declining since 2012 (alongside a notable shift to undergraduate studies for Chinese students) whereas India has continued to exhibit strong growth. Meanwhile, other reports have also pointed to relatively faster growth in India, with some indicating the overall growth in outbound mobility for India surpassed that of China for the first time last year. As always, factors such as higher education participation rates, domestic higher education capacity, economic growth, and the strength and size of the middle class are among some of the most important predictors of longer-term growth trends for any market. On that note, Fortune magazine recently observed, "India’s economy is expected to grow 7.4% in 2015, outpacing China’s growth in two years, according to the World Bank. At that rate, it’s likely that the migration of Indian students to the US will grow further as they seek training needed to succeed at home…All this suggests that US graduate schools that once focused on China for foreign recruitment may benefit by shifting their focus to India instead."

Most Recent

  • South Korea on track to attract thousands more international students within the decade Read More
  • International enrolment declines pressuring UK universities this year, with one in three facing significant financial challenges Read More
  • New Zealand expands work rights for accompanying dependants of foreign students Read More

Most Popular

  • Comparing student visa proof of funds requirements across 20 study destinations Read More
  • Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Read More
  • Lessons from Denmark: The downside of limiting international student flows Read More

Because you found this article interesting

South Korea on track to attract thousands more international students within the decade At the same time as leading Western destinations – e.g., Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom –...
Read more
International enrolment declines pressuring UK universities this year, with one in three facing significant financial challenges It is becoming increasingly clear that a decline in international enrolments is putting the finances of UK universities...
Read more
New Zealand expands work rights for accompanying dependants of foreign students Immigration New Zealand has expanded the eligibility for work visas for partners of some foreign students in the...
Read more
New analysis estimates a five-year window for responding to AI impacts on higher education Long-time tech watchers will likely remember Mary Meeker well. Ms Meeker is an American venture capitalist, focused on...
Read more
Market snapshot: International student recruitment in China today The volume of Chinese students choosing to study abroad is rising and may even return to pre-pandemic levels...
Read more
Canada’s language training sector reached 82% of pre-pandemic benchmark in 2023 Canada’s language training sector continued its recovery from the pandemic in 2023. A new annual report from Languages...
Read more
US ELT providers flag visa denials as key area of concern The just-released 2024 Annual Report on English Language Programs in the USA expands on survey findings released earlier...
Read more
Canada’s immigration ministry proposes new compliance regime for institutions and schools Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has proposed a series of regulatory changes to the country’s international student...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links