Washington: (PTI) As many as 206,582 Indians are currently enrolled in American universities and institutes of higher education, registering a growth of over 14 per cent, with most of them studying science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, according to new official figures.
In its latest report released on Thursday, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said, as of November 2016, there were 1.23 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status studying at 8,697 schools in the US.
China tops the list with 378,986 students registering a growth of 5.2 per cent since November 2015, the report said.
China is followed by India with 206,582 students, but its growth rate of 14.1 per cent is much more than that of China.
Among other Asian countries, Saudi Arabia has shown a high growth rate of nearly 20 per cent students enrolment. It has 62,077 students in the US.
In the last one year, the international student population increased 2.9 per cent compared to November 2015, but the number of certified schools decreased one per cent during the same time frame.
California, New York and Texas had the highest foreign students enrolment in the US, with the largest number of students in the states coming from China, India and South Korea.
International students in these states chose to major in business and engineering more than any other field.
India ranks second after China and California and New York, but is at the top slot of international students in Texas.
Asia accounts for 47 per cent of the total number of international students.
According to the report, as many as 83 per cent of the Indian students are enrolled in STEM courses.
Comparatively only 40 per cent of the Chinese students are enrolled in STEM courses.
Out of the nearly 514,000 international students pursuing STEM studies, almost 450,000 were from Asia, with the majority of all STEM students from India and China.
While only 1,288 international students from Australia and the Pacific Islands pursued STEM studies in the US, this geographic area had the largest percentage growth among STEM students at 15 per cent.
Over the last five years, the number of overall international students increased 49 per cent in California, 34.5 per cent in Texas and 30.3 per cent in New York.
The number of STEM students increased 103.8 per cent in California, 79.3 per cent in Texas and 68.2 per cent in New York during the same time frame.
Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia saw especially notable growth in STEM students compared to November 2015, at 20 per cent, 14 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.