Indian students largely drove the growth of new foreign enrollment in US graduate schools this year with a 40 percent surge, while growth from China slowed to 5 percent, according to a new survey.
The 40 percent increase in new enrollees from India in 2013 was substantially more than the 1 percent increase in 2012 and 2 percent increase in 2011, according to an annual survey of 285 members of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).
"While the substantial increase in first-time enrollments of Indian students is positive, the fluctuation in India enrollment in recent years makes it difficult to confirm a definite trend," said CGS President Debra W. Stewart.
Overall, first-time international enrollment in US graduate programmes rose 10 percent to 71,418 students this year, the survey found. Total foreign enrolment was 220,317-about 15 percent of all graduate students in America. On the other hand, after seven consecutive years of double-digit growth, first-time enrollment among students from China increased by just 5 percent in 2013, a substantially smaller increase than the 22 percent surge in 2012 and 21 percent increase in 2011.
However, China continues to be the largest source of international graduate students, representing 34 percent of all international graduate students in the US, according to respondents in the survey.
Despite a 12 percent dip in new enrollees between 2012 and 2013, South Korea also continues to be a leading source of international graduate students in the US, behind only China and India.
According to the survey, students from Europe constitute 7 percent of all first-time enrollments among international students in 2013, while students from Africa constitute 3 percent, and students from the Middle East constitute 6 percent. International graduate students continue to enroll in fields that have been traditionally popular among this population.
The two most popular fields among international students are physical and earth sciences, which includes mathematics and computer sciences, and engineering: together they comprised 47 percent of all international graduate student enrollment in 2013, according to survey respondents.
All four major regions of the US saw growth in first-time graduate enrollment in 2013, with increases of 17 percent in the West, 12 percent in the Midwest, 9 percent in the Northeast, and 7 percent in the South.