Saturday, April 19, 2014

US Grad School Applications from India Jump 32%

A surprising finding reported by CHE [based on results of a survey (pdf) by the Council of Grad Schools]. The reasons for this year's uptick are difficult to pin down, but the CHE report points to harsh visa policies by the UK as a possibility:

... Indian numbers have been erratic. One year, first-time graduate enrollments climbed more than 30 percent, only to plummet 16 percent a couple of years later.

That seeming fickleness reflects the fact that education decisions in India tend to be highly susceptible to economic shifts, including fluctuating currency exchange rates and employment prospects, both at home and abroad. A significant share of Indian graduate students enroll in master’s- and professional-degree programs and thus often have to cover much of the tuition costs themselves.

The current application growth, however, comes as the Indian rupee has generally fallen in value against the dollar, suggesting that other factors may be in play. Ms. Stewart, of the council, cited tightening student-visa rules in Britain. A recent report found that the number of first-time students at English universities from India and Pakistan had halved since 2010, and some of those students, Ms. Stewart suggested, could have opted to apply to institutions in the United States instead.

"It’s very difficult to trace cause and effect," she said, "but it seems that we’re at least the short-term beneficiaries."

Any guesses for the second consecutive year of robust growth from India?


  1. Wavefunction said...

    The other reason could be the sudden infusion of cash among landowners in India that allow them to send their children to the US without scholarships. In addition US universities have always recognized the money they can get from foreign students in the face of a recession.