Fewer Indian students joined American engineering colleges in 2017

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Students take their seats for the diploma ceremony at the John F. Kennedy School of Government during the 361st Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

According to a study by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) and based on data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the number of Indian computer science and engineering students who enroll in graduate level programs in the U.S. has declined by 21 percent from 2016 to 2017.

According to a Times of India report, the NFAP said the number of international students enrolled in U.S. universities declined by approximately 4 percent between the same time and Indian students are attributing to more than half of that number.

The NFAP has suggested that the reason for this decline is the restrictive visa and work policies that have been enforced by the administration of President Donald Trump.

The NFAP also mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization move could have also played a role in the decline but has since ruled out this theory as the NFAP says that the number of Indian computer science and engineering students going to the U.S. for undergraduate programs has increased by about 740.

However, it is more prominent for Indian students to study in the U.S. at a graduate level rather than an undergraduate level.

According to the Times of India report, the ministry of external affairs estimates that there were 206,708 Indian students studying in the U.S. in 2017.

“News reports and other information about the U.S. limiting the ability of international students to gain employment after completing their studies could be discouraging enrolment. The key to remember is that international students have more choices than ever before about where to study and U.S. policies on immigration and international students have an impact on those choices,” the NFAP report stated.

The report further stated: “To the extent, the U.S. makes it more difficult to work after graduation or imposes other restrictive policies it is less likely that international students choose America as their destination and as a result fewer international students coming to the U.S. and this will have a serious impact on American students and universities as well as American companies and our country’s role as a center of science and innovation.”