US universities are registering a significant drop in the number of applicants from India due to the following reasons:
- Spate of hate crimes
- Fear of changes in the visa policy
- Trump administration
According to the results of the survey, American Higher Education Groups registered a drop of 26% in undergraduate applications and 15 percent in the graduate applications. However, the full version of the report is due and will be released later this week.
The report mentioned that India and China collectively constitutes the 47 percent of the US international student enrollment. China reported a drop of 25 percent in the undergraduate studies and 32 percent from the graduate studies.
The two major concerns for the students and their families are:
- Rise in the student visa denials at the US and China embassies
- The perception that the atmosphere in US is now less welcoming
The concerns of the family and students are also related the restrictions around visas which can impact the ability to travel, re-entry after travel and employment opportunities.
"I'd say the rhetoric and actual executive orders are definitely having a chilling effect on decisions by current applicants/admitted students, and by extension are likely to affect future applicants as well," Wim Wiewel, Portland State's president, who was recently in India told Inside Higher Education.
Demonetization in India and weak value of the Indian Rupee against the Indian Dollar are also the factors contributing to the drop in Indian students in the US according to the Wiewel.
"However, we were struck by how much US higher education is still considered the holy-grail, and that especially in the southern half of India almost every middle class family seems to have a relative in the US... Thus, if nothing too bad happens in the future we will recover from this, but people are watching," he noted.