NEW DELHI :
More than 200,000 Indian students travelled to the US for higher education in 2018-19, the second largest after China, a US report released on Monday said.
The '2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange' said the number of foreign students in the US set an all-time high in the 2018-19 academic year, with more than one million international students.
This comes despite reports of the US tightening entry norms for foreign nationals under the Trump administration.
The data from the US Department of Commerce stated that international students contributed $44.7 billion to the US economy in 2018, an increase of 5.5% from the previous year. China remained the largest source of international students in the US in 2018-19 with 369,548 students. This was a 1.7% increase from 2017-18. This is the 10th straight year that China has retained its position as the largest source of foreign students in the US, the report said.
India sent 202,014 students in 2018-19, which is the second largest number of foreign students sent by any country to the US, the report said. This was an increase of 2.9% over the numbers recorded for 2017-18.
The total number of international students in the US in 2018-19 was 1,095,299, a 0.05% increase over the previous year, it said, adding that international students make up 5.5% of the total US higher education population.
Students from India and China account for more than 50 % of all international students arriving in the US in 2018-19, the report released by Institute of International Education (IIE) and US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs said.
"We are happy to see the continued growth in the number of international students in the United States and US students studying abroad," a US statement quoted Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs as saying.
"Promoting international student mobility remains a top priority for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and we want even more students in the future to see the United States as the best destination to earn their degrees," she said.
Besides China and India, South Korea sent 52,250 students, Saudi Arabia 37,080 and Canada 26,122 – to round off the top five countries sending the most numbers of students to the US, the report said.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics attracted more than 51.6 % of international students in the US in 2018-19, the report said.
For US students travelling abroad for studies, Europe remained the most popular destination with 54.9% travelling to the continent in 2017-18. Britain, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany hosted the most US study abroad students, the report said.