The US embassy stated in a press statement, that “the United States Mission in India is happy to report that its Embassy and Consulates granted more student visa applications in 2021 than ever before, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to the latest Open Doors Report 2021, Universities in the United States reported a 15% reduction in the number of international students during the academic year of 2020-21.
This academic year, about 9,14,095 international students attended US institutions, the lowest number (9,74,926) since 2014-15.
Due to the pandemic constraints, the statistics include students studying on campus in the United States as well as those taking classes online from the United States and elsewhere. According to the research, China and India continued to send the most students to the United States, with a combined total of 53% in 2020-21.
The officials in the United States have blamed the drop mostly on the Coronavirus. Institute of International Education’s (IIE) head of research evaluation and learning, Mirika Markel, said at the report’s introduction on Monday that the 2021 academic year will be a “historic time for international exchange and student mobility owing to the worldwide shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Due to travel limitations, many overseas students were unable to come to the United States,” Markel explained.
According to the 2021 Open Doors Report, Indian students continue to be the second-largest group of international students in the United States, trailing only Chinese students.
However, the United States remains the “top destination” for international students. As per Donald Heflin, Minister Counsellor for Consular Affairs, “the pandemic, and subsequent lockdown posed major challenges and raised safety concerns in the minds of parents whose children were scheduled to fly to the US for higher education, but efforts were made on both sides (US and India) to ensure a safe and comfortable transition for students”.
In terms of Indian students, the US plans to make for the losses from the 2021-22 session by issuing a record number of visas for the 2021 academic year. The US embassy stated in a press statement, that “the United States Mission in India is happy to report that its Embassy and Consulates granted more student visa applications in 2021 than ever before, despite the global Covid-19 pandemic.”
More than 55,000 students and exchange visitors have boarded flights to study in the United States as a result of these efforts, and more students are being authorized on a daily basis.”
According to Anthony Miranda, Counselor for Cultural and Educational Affairs at the US Embassy, who spoke to ANI on November 15, the consequences of the pandemic may be observed in the number of students who travel to the US. However, he claims that the country is already on the mend.
“There were 62,000 visas at an all-time high. Also, we are seeing data from the ministry of external affairs which covers all of 2021 that shows that there are 2,00,000 Indian students studying in the US so that is an 8 percent increase in the figures,” Miranda told the news agency.
“So even though we see a depth which is understandable during Covid-19, we are already seeing a trendline going to positive,” he added.