While in 2019-20 — 1.93 lakh students had gone to the US for higher studies, the number dropped to 1.67 lakh in 2020-21. This was also the lowest number of Indian students in the US since 2016-17, according to the Print.
The report also showed that those varsities also saw a 15 per cent drop in the number of international students in the same period.
In 2020-21, 9,14,095 international students went to US universities — the lowest since 9,74,926 students in 2014-15. The data included students studying on campus in the US and those attending classes online from the US and abroad because of the pandemic restrictions.
The data from past years of Open Doors reports shows that in 2016-17 over 1.86 lakh Indian students went to the US. The figure rose to 1.96 lakh in 2017-18 and 2.02 lakh in 2018-19, before registering consecutive drops.
The US Open Doors report is prepared by Institute of International Education (IIE) supported by the US Department of State.
At the launch of the report, IIE head of research evaluation and learning Mirika Markel said the 2021 academic year was a “historic moment for international exchange and student mobility due to the global shock of the Covid-19 pandemic”.
The US embassy said in a statement, “The United States Mission in India is pleased to announce that its Embassy and Consulates approved more student visa applicants in 2021 than ever before, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. Through these efforts, more than 55,000 students and exchange visitors are boarding planes to study in the United States, and more students are being approved every day.”