Not America, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) now hosts the largest population of Indian students. America lost its first position mainly due to its inconvenient visa policies and unsuitable regulations for international students. Canada is in the second spot.
After the Chinese, Indians are the second-largest community of international students in the United States. While the Chinese make up 35 per cent of all international students in the US, Indians account for 18 per cent.
There was a four per cent drop in the total number of Indian students enrolled in the US in 2019-2020, at 13,511, the annual Open Doors Report on International Student Exchange had revealed. During that period, as many as 1,93,124 students attended colleges and universities in the US from India.
At present, several US-bound students are stuck in India as the flights have been recently cancelled or rescheduled. Though Indian students who have a valid visa can fly to the US and join their universities in August, the cancellation or rescheduling of flights has put many into obscurity.
Explaining the distinction between two kinds of international students, consultant Maria Mathai said that they are traditionally youngsters who move away from their families to study abroad. She said that the UAE shines on the top spot because students in the UAE or Saudi Arabia have joined a campus there specifically because their parents are working in those countries.
Indian universities with campuses in the UAE offer Indian students a two-campus experience, under which students can join the international campus towards the end of their degree programme.
“Canada is a top destination for high-quality, globally recognised education in an open, tolerant, safe and multicultural environment,” Amanda Strohan, deputy high commissioner of Canada to India, was quoted as saying.
She added that for international students who are studying in Canada, India is the top source country.
Education counsellor Karan Gupta said, “the Trump administration’s adverse immigration policies, which were not welcoming of students, pushed them to countries like Canada, Australia and UAE. Students with a tighter budget also prefer the UAE, apart from the fact that with the large Indian ex-pat community, a relative or friend is easy to reach out to in case of an emergency”.