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

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Report: US to Sail Warships Near Disputed S. China Sea Islands

Move will signal nonrecognition of Chinese territorial claims over area, Financial Times reports, citing senior US official More

Study Describes Ancient Deltas, Lakes on Mars

Research builds on recent NASA announcement that water flows on red planet today More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs