International students from India to the US increased 35 per cent, reaching an all-time high of 2,68,923 in 2022/23. India has also surpassed China to become the largest host of international graduate students in the US for the first time since 2009/10.
The number of Indian graduate students soared, increasing 63 per cent to 1,65,936 students, an increase of nearly 64,000 students compared to last year. In addition, there was a 16 per cent uptick in the number of undergraduates.
India remains the leading place of origin for international students pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT), with a modest increase of 1 per cent, according to 2023 Open Doors Report, an annual statistical survey on international students in the US.
China and India remain the two leading places of origin among international students at US colleges and universities. 53 per cent of all international students in 2022/23 were from China and India, comparable to the the previous year.
However, the market share for each place of origin has shifted, with 27 per cent of students from China and 25 per cent of students from India (compared to 33 per cent from China and 18 per cent from India in 2017/18), the data show.
The number of students staying in the US to gain practical work experience after graduation on OPT grew by 8 per cent to 198,793 students in 2022/23. The growth in 14,034 students on OPT is likely driven by the strong rebound of graduate students last year and ended the two years of declines among students pursuing OPT amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the incoming classes of new international students, particularly graduate students, continue to grow post-pandemic, the number of OPT students should also continue to increase in the future.
The majority of leading places of origin experienced rebounds, with 23 of the top 25 places of origin increasing and 14 returning to pre-pandemic enrollment levels. Furthermore, 8 of the top 25 reached all-time highs: Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, India, Italy, Nepal, Pakistan, and Spain, the data show.
The total number of international students, including both enrolled and OPT students, surpassed 1 million and rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels, with 1,057,188 international students at US higher education institutions in 2022/23. The 12 percent growth in 2022/23 is the fastest international student growth rate in more than 40 years (+12 per cent in 1978/79).
The year-on-year growth of 108,000 international students studying at U.S. higher education institutions was the largest in Open Doors history.
Open Doors 2023 continued to include international students enrolled at US higher education institutions in the United States and online from abroad and those OPT. Approximately 95 per cent of students were located physically in the United States to pursue their studies. International student representation increased to 6 percent of the total US higher education population, the data showed.