New Delhi: The arrest of 129 Indian students by US authorities for allegedly enrolling in fake universities to stay in the country underscores once again an unrelenting urge to enrol in US varsities for higher studies, ignoring, at times, checking the hard facts before setting off for USA.
Indian officials maintain that the students may have been duped contrary to the assertion of the US prosecutors but what is apparent is that both the Indian and the US authorities remained oblivious to this’pay-for-stay” scheme till the US Homeland Department laid a trap to bust it.
A hard look at the facts reveal that Indian students spent a whopping Rs 80,000 crore for higher studies in United States, which is double the annual budget of the Indian government for higher education at Rs 35,000 crore. It is three times the fund the Central government has earmarked for IITs, NIITs, IIMs and Central universities.
According to the US government’s Open Doors Report in 2018 about the International Educational Exchange programme, 1,96,271 Indians students were studying in US. The report says that an increase of 5.4 per cent were witnessed over the last year, adding that this marks the fifth consecutive year that the total number of Indians pursuing their higher education in the USA has grown. The report was quoted by Hindustan Times.
Of this number, 66 per cent or two-third are reportedly getting education at the private higher institutions and are living at places like New York, California and Massachusetts.
The US is known for charging higher fee from foreign students. The Times Higher Education, which releases the ranking of higher educational institutions of the world, stated that the tuition fee charged by American higher educational institutes is between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 35 lakh, while average fee is Rs 23.5 lakh, even as the annual expenditure on education comes around Rs 7.61 lakh.
According an estimate, for any student education expenditure is almost Rs 42 lakh annually. If we take the number of 1,96,271 Indians students studying in the United States, it comes around Rs 85,010 crore.
The report stated that more than 90 per cent students come to the US to study subjects like Computer Science, Mathematics, Management, Science and medical which has more fee than other subjects.
If we spare a few thousand students who went to the US on scholarship, then this year Indian students studying in the US are spending over Rs 80,000 crore, the report added.
Notably, Indian students form nearly 18 per cent of all international students in the USA, sitting next only to China. India provided the second highest amount of graduate students and fourth-most undergraduates.