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Bangladeshi students in the USA for higher education

13 November 2017

The number of Indian students studying in United States institutions has gone up by 12.3 per cent - to 1.86 lakh in the academic year 2016-17 from 1.65 lakh in 2015-16, according to a global report.

The growth rate of students from India, however, decreased from 24.9 per cent in the previous academic year to 12 per cent in 2016-17.

Overall, there was a 3.4 percent increase in total worldwide student enrollment in 2016 compared to the year before, with the total of 1,078,822 exceeding 1 million for the second year.

These numbers were not evenly distributed: 45% of the campuses reported decline in new enrolments for fall 2017, while 31% reported increase in new enrolments and 24% reported no change from past year.

As per US Department of Commerce estimates, Bangladeshi students in US colleges and universities contributed $249m to their economy.

This lands the country in the 25th place as one of the leading places of origin for students coming to the United States for higher education, according to the 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange data released by Institute of International Education (IIE) and US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Noting that students continue to be attracted to the high quality and diverse opportunities offered by colleges and universities in the U.S., he said it is critical for United States institutions to set strategic goals and be proactive in reaching out to students and families in a wide range of countries in the coming year.

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Indian students accounted for 17.3% of the total foreign students in the USA in 2016-17. The colleges reported an average decrease of 7 percent of new students but 45 percent of schools reported declines while 31 percent reported increases.

The Ohio State University is ranked in the top 5 nationally among doctoral institutions for the number of students studying overseas and is in the top 20 for its worldwide student enrollment, according to a national report released today.

"It's definitely a wake-up call, but by no means is it a crisis, and it does not come anywhere close to the precipitous decline and plummeting of numbers that the entire sector had been predicting", said Rajika Bhandari, head of research, policy and practice for the non-profit group based in NY.

The institute cited the 2016 enrollment decline to global and local economic conditions, expanded higher education opportunities in other countries and declining populations.

The scaling back of large Saudi and Brazilian government scholarship programs were a significant factor, said Rajika Bhandari, research and evaluation specialist for the Institute of International Education.

However, only 20 percent of institutions indicate that some of their foreign students have expressed the desire to leave or have left the U.S.as a result of the current climate.

Meanwhile, Nepal and Bangladesh saw the biggest increases in students attending USA colleges, though their overall numbers are still low. China remains the top sending country, with nearly twice the number of students in the USA as India, but India's rate of growth outpaced China's.

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Governments in Brazil and Saudi Arabia, for example, have slashed national programs that helped students study overseas in recent years, fueling a combined 23-per cent drop in students from those countries last year.

"They may need to be more intentional in recruitment", he said.

Goodman said it's too early to tell if the political climate under President Donald Trump plays a role in the decrease in new global students.

The colleges cited several factors in declining enrollment, including competition from other countries, the cost of US higher education, visa delays or denials, and an uncertain USA social and political climate, the institute said.

Over half (52 percent) of institutions report that they are anxious that the perceptions of prospective worldwide students will be impacted, and that the current US social and political climate could be a deterrent to USA study, the institute said. She said a range of factors play into the decrease in 2017.

The survey also reported about 325,000 US students studied overseas in 2015-16, mostly in Europe.

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Bangladeshi students in the USA for higher education