US universities register drop in Indian student applications

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US universities have registered a sharp decline in the number of applications from Indian students after a spate of hate crimes+ and fear and anxiety about potential changes to visa policies+ by the Trump Administration.

According to the preliminary results of a survey of more than 250 American colleges and universities conducted by six top American higher education groups, students from India this fall registered a 26 per cent decline in undergraduate applications and 15 per cent decline has been reported in graduate applications.

The full version of the 'Open Doors 2016' report is slated to be released later this week.
These higher educational institutions reported a drop of an average of 40 per cent application from international students.
The report said that India and China currently make up 47 per cent of US international student enrollment, with almost half a million Indian and Chinese students studying in the US.

China reported a drop of 25 per cent application in undergraduate studies and 32 per cent from graduate studies, said the survey report.

The survey was conducted jointly by American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the Institute of International Education, Association of International Educators, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and its focus subgroup International Association for College Admission Counseling (ACAC).

The most frequently noted concerns of international students and their families, as reported by institution-based professionals, include perception of a rise in student visa denials at US embassies and consulates in China, India and Nepal and perception that the climate in the US is now less welcoming to individuals from other countries.

It also includes concerns that benefits and restrictions around visas could change, especially around the ability to travel, re-entry after travel, and employment opportunities and concerns that the Executive Order travel ban might expand to include additional countries.

"I'd say the rhetoric and actual executive orders are definitely having a chilling effect on decisions by current applicants/admitted students, and by extension are likely to affect future applicants as well," Wim Wiewel, Portland State's president, who was recently in India told Inside Higher Education.

India's demonetisation policy and the weakness of the value of the rupee against the dollar are other factors according to Wiewel, the news report said.

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