Worrying Decline In Applications To American Universities From Indian Students

28 Mar 2017


USA, Students

A new report from the USA, Open Doors 2016’ reports that there has been a significant decline in the numbers of students from India applying for places at United States universities.  The changes apparently stem from immigration concerns that have arose during the very anti-immigration rhetoric heard during the presidential election process last year, and have continued with the uncertainty surrounding visa changes that have been discussed by the Trump administration since the election.  A number of Indian students have also reported an increase in hate crimes and racism.

The survey of 250 universities and colleges report that applications for entry this autumn have seen a decline of 26% for undergraduate entries and slightly less decline of 15% for graduate applicants.

At present the Indian and Chinese student population make up almost half of international students in the United States and the decline in applicants is of great concern to the university and colleges involved.   Reasons given for the decline in numbers include a perception that the numbers being declined visas is on the rise and the increasing belief that the United States is now far less welcoming of foreign students that it has been in the past.  The recent new travel restrictions imposed on Muslim travellers has also increased concerns that other restrictions will be introduced at short notice hindering the students’ ability to travel to and from their place of study. Other concerns include the weakness of the rupee against the US dollar exchange rates.

Many of those that travel to the US to study hope to stay in the country for work and the continued issues over the future of the H-1B visa is clearly making potential students think twice about following this career path.  It is hoped that this is only a temporary slow-down and that interest in studying in the US will return in the near future. Certainly, academic institutions will be watching the numbers carefully and doing what they can to increase the applications from overseas.

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