US: Nepal records highest growth in international student numbers
There 14,729 Nepalese students in the US. Pic: Shutterstock.

The Himalayan country saw the biggest proportional growth in students heading to the United States to further their studies the past year, the latest SEVIS by the Numbers biannual report on the international student trend has revealed.

Nepal recorded an 18 percent increase from May 2016 to May 2017, the highest among all countries, while Saudi Arabia saw the steepest decline (19 percent) among the top 10 Asian countries. The majority of Nepalese are enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s programmes in US institutions, mostly located in states like Texas and Minnesota.

Also on the rise is the number of international students enrolling in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs of study. While business-related courses still reign as the favourite among overseas students, STEM subjects come a close second with 43 percent enrolled in these fields. Among Asian students, 49 percent of the cohort are enrolled in STEM fields of study.

“US colleges and universities offer some of the best STEM programs in the world. Graduates of STEM programs are important to innovation and job creation in the United States,” the report wrote.

Overall, the international student population with F (academic) and M (vocational) status rose 2 percent compared to May last year, according to data extracted from SEVIS on May 5.

SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based system that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information about international students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are in the United States.

The report highlights key data by the system to show trends, values and information about foreign students studying in the United States and includes data on the schools and territories that enroll them. The latest report is based on real-time SEVIS data from May 5 this year and compares data from May 2016 to May 2017.

Columbia University in New York hosts 11,585 foreign students, among the highest in the country. Pic: Shutterstock.

As of May 2017, there are 1.18 million F and M foreign students, of which 76 percent are enrolled in these following stages of higher education study: bachelor’s (33 percent), master’s (31 percent) and doctorate (12 percent).

Male students outnumber their female counterparts in all continents except South America, which sent an equal proportion of each sex to the United States.

Conversely, Asia, of which 77 percent of the 1.18 million international students in the US hail from, have the largest male to female ratio imbalance (58 percent vs. 42 percent).

California hosts the largest number of international students (200,809) but distribution of these students throughout the country is relatively even throughout the four major regions (Northeast, South, Midwest and West).

Liked this? Then you’ll love these…

India’s student startup founders get opportunity to pitch to Silicon Valley players

More and more middle-class students from China, India go to Canadian universities