The number of international students pursuing higher education in the United States has risen to 1.18 million, up 2 percent from March of last year.

That's according to a new report on student data, released this week by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, or SEVP, which is a unit within a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The report says the majority of those students, some 77 percent, come from Asia.

Here are some other key facts in the report:

- The largest number of international students comes from China ((more than 362,000)) and India ((nearly 207,000)).

SEVP release biannual international student report

- Nepal saw the largest proportional increase, 18 percent.

- Saudi Arabia, which had a 19 percent decline, continues to have the fourth highest number of students studying in the US, at nearly 56, 000.

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- Some 514,000 international students, or 43 percent, pursued science, technology engineering or mathematics ((STEM)) degrees.

- 49 percent of Asian students are pursuing a STEM degree.

- The majority of those are from India. Some 84 percent of Indian students in the U.S. are studying STEM.

SEVP release biannual international student report

- California, New York and Texas have the highest number of international students.

- The distribution of international students is about even throughout the country?s four main regions - Northeast, South, Midwest and West.

The report, "SEVIS by the Numbers" is based on information collected by the Department of Homeland Security, of which ICE is a part.

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