News / Asia

    Numbers of Indian Students Heading to America Rise

    Indian students line up at American Embassy in New Delhi for student visas, June 19, 2014. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)
    Indian students line up at American Embassy in New Delhi for student visas, June 19, 2014. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)
    Anjana Pasricha
    After declining for some years, the number of Indian students heading to the United States for graduate and undergraduate studies is surging.  A major factor is the lack of quality universities in India to cater to a huge, young population.  
     
    Hundreds of students have been lining up at the American Embassy in New Delhi this summer to get a visa to study in a college in the United States.  Besides Delhi, they come from smaller cities such as Jaipur and Lucknow in northern India.
     
    Some are headed for undergraduate studies in commerce and engineering, others are going to pursue a masters in American universities.

    One student explains the reason of his choice,“The flexibility of subjects, and the practical learning you get there.  It is because of the exposure you get in the U.S.  I do not think any other country can provide you with the exposure.”

    Another student says, “It was my dream, it was like my ambition do my higher studies in U.S.”
     
    Indian students account for about 12 percent of foreign students in the United States - the second highest after China.
     
    But their numbers dipped between 2009 and 2012, when the American economy slowed due to the global financial crisis. Officials at the American Embassy in New Delhi say numbers are surging again, 40 percent more student visas have been issued since October 2013.
     
    Appeal of US studies


    The United States attracts the most Indian students headed to study overseas - about 100,000 Indian students are studying on American campuses.  Britain and Australia are other popular destinations.
     
    Education consultants in India say higher affluence has made a foreign education more affordable.  But the major factor is the formidable competition for admission to a good college in India, where about half of the 1.2 billion people are under age 25.
     
    A professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, Rupa Chanda, says supply of quality higher education in India has fallen short of demand.  
     
    “The rising competition, the lack of sufficient number of quality institutions in India, the fact that there has not been enough increase in capacity in some of the seats in coveted disciplines people want to study in," she said. "And really if you do not get into the top tier, there is not much to choose from.”  
     
    In the most coveted engineering colleges such as the Indian Institutes of Technology, less than two percent of applicants are accepted.  

    Tough local requirements

    Admissions are based on entrance tests for which most students undertake two years of grueling coaching.
     
    In most other colleges, students are admitted on the basis of their school grades.  But the “cut off” scores to apply are becoming out of reach for even bright students.  This year they exceed 95 percent at top colleges in Delhi University. 
     
    It is this rigorous competition that prompted 18-year-old Shaurya Dhankar from Delhi to apply to colleges in the United States instead of an Indian college.
     
    “First of all the cut offs are really high, and also because I had good extra curriculars, which were advantageous for me in applying to the U.S.  Not much appreciation is given for them in India... the U.S. system is much more simple and relaxed.  I did not have to give any entrances, and you know, study all day for them,” said Dhankar.  
     
    Successive governments in India have acknowledged the problem, but academics say little has been done to address it.  The previous government had prepared a bill to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India, but it has not yet received parliamentary approval.
     
    American officials are upbeat about the students heading to their country.  Michael Pelletier at the American Embassy says they contribute to the links that bring the two countries together through “people to people” ties.
     
    “It is something that is incredibly important, incredibly important to you, incredibly important to our countries as well because those are the sort of relationships and experiences you will draw on for the rest of your life,” he said.
     
    There is a flip side for India.  Business groups say the country could save billions of dollars in foreign exchange if it could offer more students a quality education at home.

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora