Indian students in US – comparison with UK and Australia

In my previous post ‘Foreign students in US – China, India, South Korea’, I made the point that India is seeing a downward trend in terms of graduate students over last 3-4 years (while undergraduate has grown slightly), while China has been accelerating at a rapid pace in both graduate and undergraduate. Here is a comment I got on the Indian phenomenon:

I wonder how the trend would be if you were to include Indian students going to other foreign destinations such as Australia, UK etc. May be coming to US has flattened due to tighter visa policy and grim job prospects. Just a thought.

This is a very good point. So I tried to look at UK and Australia data. Strangely (but maybe not so strangely), India doesn’t have such data easily available for its own students, so I had to go look for Australian and UK sources. For Australia, I used Australian Education International‘s site, which has tons of data, and a very handy pivot table available with exactly the data I needed. For UK, I leveraged data available from Higher Education Statistics Agency which publishes (and sells) this data. I had to read through the press releases to get the summary data for China, India and South Korea that I was looking for.

Interestingly, South Korea doesn’t figure in top 10-15 countries which send students to UK, I don’t know why that would be the case. For Australia, South Korea was in top 3, the way it was for US.

Also, both these countries had undergraduate and graduate data combined. Here is what the trend looks like: Continue reading

Foreign students in US – China, India, South Korea

Someone forwarded this article from New York Times: Getting Ahead in India Means Getting Out of Town. Here are some excerpts from the article:

“… is among a rising number of students in India’s rapidly expanding younger population who want, and can pay for, a better education. Yet they know that in a country where thousands apply for each spot at a handful of top universities, the chances of this happening are remote. These students say a good foreign degree will get them a better job and a better life. And if the potential return on investment appears worthwhile, they will put their money on it”

“… the number of Indian students going overseas annually has doubled in the past six years, reaching more than 200,000”

The fact that the education in India at this level lacks in quality is a well-known problem. However, just so you understand the scale, consider this: India produced 400,000 technology graduates and 2.5 million general college graduates (75% of former and 90% of latter are unable to find work – When More is Worse). So we are talking about 7% of graduates coming out of India universities. Story of rest of 93% is much less glamorous – most of these are about sub-par skills and scarcity of jobs in India.

To understand this data about students going to US for higher studies, I also looked at past trends (thanks to Open Doors Data) to understand this phenomenon better. Here are some interesting findings I had: Continue reading