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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid