A top US trade group has said that if Washington eliminates barriers to free movement of students, such as visas and entry restrictions, the bilateral trade in education services between the two countries could accelerate.
The US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) stated that India was the second-largest source of international students in the US during the 2019-20 academic year, according to the ‘2020 Open Door Report on International Education Exchange’.
During this period, the number of Indian students dropped by four percent, but India had 18 percent share in international students pursuing higher education in the US with 193,124 students. The Open Door Report was recently released by the Bureau of Education and Culture Affairs of the US Interior Ministry and the International Institute of Education.
The USISPF said that there is immense potential in the higher education segment in terms of trade and investment between the two countries and which is also important for the economic growth of both countries.
According to the International Educational Exchange 2019 Open Door Report, India is the second largest country of origin for foreign students in the US — and has been, for ten consecutive years. In 2018–19, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, more than 200,000 Indian students came to the US to pursue undergraduate, non-degree and optional practical training (OPT) programs. After the year 2017, it has increased by 2.9 percent.
Let us tell you that the OPT program allows international students to work in the US after completion of their courses. The USISPF said that from 2015 to 2019, the amount spent by Indian students on an educational trip to the US increased by 45 percent to about USD7.7 billion.