The number of foreign students enrolling into U.S. colleges and universities has declined again last year, which marks the second straight decline after more than a decade of growth.
According to the annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released by the State Department and the Institute of International Education, a New York-based nonprofit research group, on Tuesday, the enrollment of international students to U.S. colleges and universities dropped by about 7 percent in fall 2017. The number of newly arriving students fell down to about 271,000, the lowest since 2013.
However, the overall number of foreign students in the U.S. still increased by 1.5 percent, which is likely to have been fueled by an increase in the numbers of students who stayed for temporary work after graduation. Notably, International students constitute around 5.5 percent of the total student population in the US, reported The Times Of India.
As per the report, the number of students coming from Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Mexico declined last year, while China and India continued to send the largest numbers, accounting for more than half of all foreign students in the U.S. The number of F1 visas issued to students dropped by a staggering 28.46 percent from 2016 to 2017.
Chinese accounts for 33.2 percent of the international students in the US, while Indians account for 17.9 percent. The number of Chinese students increased 3.6 percent from 350,755 in 2016-2017 to 363,341 in 2017-2018.
The 15 percent decrease from Saudi Arabia comes a year after the kingdom pulled back a scholarship program that covered costs for its students studying abroad.
The report also found that the number of U.S. students studying abroad increased up by 2 percent last year. Europe, Latin America, and Asia remained the top three destinations respectively. The number of American students in India has increased by 12.5 percent, to 4,704.