Sarath Shyam

Indian students travelling abroad for higher studies is more than a century-old tradition. Before the independence, it was Britain that held a pre-eminent position in India’s education matrix. However, the wind started changing during the mid-1960s when Indian students travelled further to the US. From hundreds in the early 70s, the number of Indian students in the US went up to 20,000 in the 1980s to nearly 200,000 in 2020. Even the pandemic that had severely impacted cross-border mobility could not hinder Indian students’ dream to study in a prestigious university in the US.

In 2019 – 20, however, the number of Indian students studying in the US universities and colleges was at a three-year low of 1,93,124, as the country witnessed a sharp fall in both new and cumulative enrollment of foreign students, as per official data. Many experts then believed that the number of foreign students could fall more in 2020-21 due to covid-led disruptions in the US, which was already witnessing a downfall due to the visa issues and anti-immigration noises from the previous administration.

With the new government comes new hopes. Recently, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) withdrew the rule that was announced in September 2020 proposing to govern the length of stay for F&J (students) and certain I (international media) category non-immigrants, which is good news for Indian students studying in America. Hopefully, the US government’s decision to not limit the period of student visas to four years will help the universities to attract more international students to their campuses.

To help Indian students looking for their higher studies in the US, we have come up with a list of ‘10 Must-Watch Universities and Colleges in the US’ in this Issue. These institutes have created a benchmark in the global higher education system and provided new directions and successful careers to the plethora of Indian alumni members. On the cover, we feature Mangala Subramaniam, Professor of Sociology and Butler Chair and Director, Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, Purdue University, US.

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