Friday, April 3, 2009

Fewer Indian Students Going to American Universities

When I visited India several years back, it seemed like a huge number of students were making their way to study in the U.S. According to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, however, this is not quite as true as it used to be. Fewer students are making their way to the U.S.A. and people are talking about a "reverse brain drain" back to India.

Here's a fascinating statistic:

The Educational Testing Service has reported that the number of Indian students taking the Graduate Record Examinations fell from 74,000 in 2007 to 55,000 in 2008. That could result in a significant decline in graduate applications to the United States, which absorbed nearly 80 percent of the more than 120,000 Indian students who went abroad last year.

From the perspective of India, that's a really good thing: India needs all the talent it can muster as it continues its path towards economic development. My one worry is that the cultural cross-pollination that has happened as a result of Indian students coming to the U.S. will lessen the strong ties between the two nations. But could it be that perhaps more U.S. students will start heading out India?

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