According to a survey conducted by six of the top higher education groups in America, there has been a drop in the number of students applying for US universities.
The survey of over 250 American colleges and universities showed that hate crimes and anxiety about the change in visa policies have resulted in 26% decline in UG applications and 15% drop in PG applications.
The report labelled 'Open Doors 2016' was released last week. It has stated a 40% average decline in international student applications. India and China collaboratively contribute 47% of US International students.
Following are the concerns that have resulted in the decline:
- Most of the Indian students and their families have stated that the environment of US universities is not welcoming anymore for international students.
- Many aspirants are also concerned that visa benefits and restrictions could change, especially around the ability to travel, employment opportunities and re-entry after travel.
- Another concern is that the Executive Order travel ban might expand and the new list will comprise additional countries.
- Demonetisation in India is another factor leading to the decline of Indian applications in US universities as the value of the Indian rupee against the dollar has reduced.
Most of the Indian students opt for master’s programmes offered by US universities hoping that they will later get a job through OPT (Optional Practical Training) extending it to H-1B. OPT enables international students to work in the US for one to three years after their graduation on the basis of their student visa.