Home » As the Number of Chinese Students in the US Declines, More Places Open Up for Indians

As the Number of Chinese Students in the US Declines, More Places Open Up for Indians

Except for China, most source nations are seeing an increase in students going to the United States, with India sending 19% more students.

New Delhi: A gradual fall of Chinese students studying in the United States, the country’s largest group of international students, has created chances for Indian students as the top global destination for higher education strives to fill the international enrolment vacuum created by COVID-19.

Even though almost all source countries saw an increase in the number of foreign students in the United States for the first time since the pandemic during the 2021-2022 academic session, China was one of the few exceptions. Chinese students in the United States fell 8.6% in 2021-2022, to 2.9 lakh students, according to the Open Doors 2022 report on international students released Monday by the United States. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. China’s student population is at its lowest level since 2014-2015. China reported a 14.8% drop in 2020-2021.

From Fall 2021 through Spring 2022, the study includes overseas students enrolled at colleges and institutions in the United States and those pursuing online courses and “optional practical training.”

The Primary Source

China is the largest source of foreign students in the United States, accounting for 30.6% of all international students.

On the other hand, India, which ranks second among source nations, supplying 21% of total international students in the United States, has experienced a 19% increase in 2021-2022 after a 13.2% decline the previous year. In the most recent academic session, 1.99 lakh Indian students were studying in the United States.

As observed recently in other significant locations such as Australia, fresh student arrivals from India now outnumber those from China.

During the peak admission season of June-August 2022, 82,000 student visas were awarded to Indian students, the largest number in the world. 50,000 visas were awarded to Chinese students within the same period, according to Donald L Heflin, Minister Counsellor for Consular Affairs, during a press conference. He attributed the drop in visas for Chinese students to lockdowns in both nations and embassy officials being unable to travel owing to restrictions.

Last year, Chinese students received 1,10,000 student visas, while Indian students received 62,000.

“A portion of the shortage [from the reduction in Chinese students] has been addressed by issuing 20,000 additional visas to Indians [this summer].” “However, there is still a 40,000-dollar gap,” Mr. Heflin explained.

He said that due to this, American colleges and institutions might be “much more keen” to woo Indian students next year.

Overall, there were 9.48 lakh international students in the United States in 2021-2022, a 4% increase over the previous year, when students from all over the world reported a severe fall owing to travel restrictions during COVID-19. However, international student enrollments remain 11.8% below pre-pandemic levels (2019-2020).

Aside from China, only four other nations reported a decrease in students attending the United States. These were Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Hong Kong, but their contributions were much smaller in absolute terms.