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Posted on February 26 2018

Indian student numbers enrolling in US engineering programs fall

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
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The number of Indian students enrolling in the graduate level programs in the disciplines of engineering and computer science in the United States has dropped by 21 percent from 2016 to 2017, a study by the NFAP (National Foundation for American Policy), which was based on data from the US DHS (Department of Homeland Security), revealed.

The NFAP was quoted by The Times of India as saying that the number of international students enrolling in the US universities at the graduate level fell by about four percent between 2016 and 2017, and one of the main reasons behind this could be due to fewer Indian students enrolling in engineering and computer science in 2017.

For many US firms, students from India who graduate in science and engineering at American universities are a major talent source. The report of the NFAP, a non-profit, public policy research organisation of the US, said that the protectionist visa policies of Donald Trump administration had an impact on the numbers.

Indian students head more to the US for pursuing graduate programs, which lead to students being awarded postgraduate degrees, than for undergraduate education. According to the Ministry of external affairs, 206,708 Indian students were enrolled in the US in 2017.

The NFAP report said that news reports and other information about the US reducing the opportunity for international students to look for employment after graduating could be deterring them from joining US universities.

It also added that it has to be remembered that international students now have more alternatives than before about where to pursue education and the policies of the US government on immigration and foreign students are affecting their preferences.

If the US makes it tougher to work after graduation, besides implementing other discouraging policies, the country may see fewer international students choosing it as their study destination, said NFAP. It added that fewer international students arriving in the US will disadvantage the US, American universities, US students and the companies in that country and undermine their country's standing as the world’s leading centre for science and innovation.

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