India Abroad

Demonetisation Effect? Enrollment of Indian Engineering Students In US Universities Declines By 21%

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| February 26 , 2018 , 15:08 IST

A report from the National Foundation for American Policy shows that the number of Indian students enrolled in computer science and engineering degree program in the United States has fallen by 21% or 18,590 fewer graduate students, from 2016 to 2017.

The report stated that the total number of international students enrolled at U.S. universities had dipped by 4%. More than half of the decline in enrollment is attributed to the fact that fewer individuals from India enrolled in computer science and engineering at the graduate level in 2017.

"Indian graduate students completing degrees in science and engineering at U.S. universities are a major source of talent for U.S. companies," it reads.

The report indicates that demonetisation in India could be a major reason for the decline in Indian student studying abroad. 

According to the Ministry of External Affairs estimate, there were 206,708 Indian students studying in the US in 2017.

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The report also suggests that the decline could also be attributed to US President Donald Trump's restrictive visa and work policies. Last year, US has made H-1B visas rules tougher which has affected the prospects of attracting foreign students making a significant contribution to the US economy.

The H-1B visas allow US companies to hire foreign talent for temporary employment. The non-immigrant workers are selected through a lottery system. Indian IT companies are the largest users of this type of visa applications.

Another major source of decline was from Saudi Arabia, which had 1,930 fewer students enrolled in graduate-level programs in 2017 compared to 2016, and 6,220 fewer at the undergraduate level.

Trump’s travel ban and hard-line immigration policies have put off students from the Middle East and Muslim majority countries that’s not surprising. But, initial findings of the survey also point to a decline in applicants from India and China, which together provide nearly half of the US’s international students.