Washington: The number of international students studying in the US is at a record high with nearly one-third of them coming from China, followed by a distant India that sent over 1 lakh students to the country in 2013-14.
A record number of 8,86,052 international students came to the US in the academic year 2013-14 to pursue studies in various academic courses, an increase of 8.1 per cent over the previous year.
Topping the list is China from where 2,74,439 students came to study in the US ? an increase of 16.5 per cent than the previous year. China, in fact accounted for more than 30 per cent of the total international students.
China is followed by a distant India, which sent 102,673 students in the year 2013-2014, an increase of 6.1 per cent than the previous year, reversing a three-year trend of declining numbers of Indian students at the US universities.
Students from India accounted for 11.6 per cent of the total international students, said the report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) today.
In the previous year, international students contributed some USD 27 billion to the US economy, the report said.
According to the report, the US hosts more of the world's 4.5 million globally mobile college and university students than any other country in the world, with almost double the number hosted by the UK, the second leading host country.
The Open Doors report is published annually by the IIE in partnership with the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
"The number of US students studying abroad has more than doubled in the last 15 years," the report said.
"International education is crucial to building relationships between people and communities in the US and around the world. It is through these relationships that together we can solve global challenges like climate change, the spread of pandemic disease, and combating violent extremism," said Evan M. Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.
"International experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education, and study abroad should be viewed as an essential element of a college degree," said IIE's president Allan Goodman.
While students from China and Saudi Arabia together account for 73 per cent of the growth, a wider range of countries contributed to the increase, with India, Brazil, Iran and Kuwait together accounting for an additional 18 per cent of growth.
Students from Asia increased by 8 per cent as well, driven by a 17 per cent increase from China.
International students make up just over four per cent of the total US graduate and undergraduate enrollments combined.