Indian students major contributor to US economy: Report

Written by Press Trust of India | Washington | Updated: Aug 29 2014, 05:32am hrs
StudentsThe American think-tank noted that Hyderabad is the top source city of foreign STEM students in the United States. (PTI)
Foreign students from India, China and South Korea are the major contributors to the US economy with the host country earning USD 21.8 billion in tuition fees and USD 12.8 billion in living costs from them.

Over the period of 2008 to 2012, foreign students from India, China and South Korea contributed USD 21.8 billion in tuition fees and USD 12.8 billion in living costs to 118 metro areas of the US that are home to at least 1,500 students each, the prestigious Brookings Institute said in a report released today.

Students from the Indian cities of Mumbai and Hyderabad made a contribution of over USD 1.25 billion to the American economy with Mumbai sending 17,294 students, Chennai (9,141), Bangalore (8,835) and New Delhi (8,728) to the US during the five-year period, the report said.

Among the foreign students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) category, 31 per cent are from China, 27 per cent from India and five per cent from South Korea.

The American think-tank noted that Hyderabad is the top source city of foreign STEM students in the United States and India accounts for eight of the 10 origin cities with the highest shares of their F-1 (student visa) students in STEM fields.

China with nearly 285,000 foreign students who enter US on F-1 visas sends the largest number of foreign students to the country.

Seoul, one of the largest metropolis of South Korea sent 56,000 F-1 foreign students to the US during 2008-12, the largest among other foreign cities.

Beijing (49,946), Shanghai (29,145), Hyderabad (26,220) and Riyadh (17,361) also topped the list of source cities, each sending between 17,000 and 50,000, according to the report.

Kathmandu with a population of just 70,000 figures in the top 10 cities having sent 10,721 students to the US.

According to the reports, the south Indian city of Hyderabad sent the largest number of STEM students (20,800) to the US and ranked fourth for the percentage of its students pursuing a STEM degree (80 percent) during 2008-2012.

Notably, 91 per cent of students from Hyderabad are studying for a masters degree and only four per cent for a bachelors degree. The vast majority were studying for computer and information sciences (9,100) and engineering (8,800) degrees, the report said.

The top five destination schools of F-1 students from Hyderabad are institutions with no major research activity under the Carnegie classification system for higher studies in US. The largest among them is the International Technological University (ITU), a non-profit accredited Masters medium-sized college with no research activity.

Other top destination schools of foreign students from Hyderabad as per the reports, include University of Northern Virginia (unaccredited and shut down by Department of Homeland Security-DHS), Stratford University (accredited), Tri- Valley University (unaccredited and shut down by DHS) and Herguan University (unaccredited).

Some of these schools have been closed down because they were abusing the F-1 visa system and the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program to bring students to work for employers, rather than primarily to study for a degree program.

But despite dominating a large proportion of Indian students from Hyderabad, Carnegie-classified Masters colleges only make up for between 1.1 per cent (Smaller Programs) to 16.5 per cent (Larger Programs) of all STEM F-1 students.

The report also stated that foreign students from middle, low and upper middle-income cities accounted for 77 per cent of the total educational expenses from F-1 students studying in US metropolitan areas.

Among the foreign students pursuing business degrees, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Riyadh and Taipei are the predominant source cities while smaller but fast-growing Asian cities (Ulan Bator, Hanoi, Ningbo) exhibit the highest shares of their students in that field, the report said.