Washington, March 20
Students from China and India accounted for 47 per cent of all active foreign students in the US in 2020, according to latest official figures, which also indicated a significant drop in fresh enrolments from abroad due to the impact of the pandemic.
The annual report released by Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP), part of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), noted that there were 1.25 million active records in SEVIS for F-1 and M-1 students during calendar year 2020, a 17.86 per cent decrease from calendar year 2019.
While an F1 visa is issued to international students who are attending an academic programme or English language programme at a US college or university, M-1 visa is reserved for international students attending vocational schools and technical schools.
US schools saw a 72 per cent decrease in new international student enrolment in 2020 compared to 2019, it said. New international students include those who were not enrolled in a programme of study at a US school during the previous calendar year, the report said.
In August 2020, there was a 91 per cent decrease in new F-1 international student enrolment and a 72 per cent decrease in new M-1 international student enrolment at US schools.
According to SEVIS, there were 382,561 students from China, followed by 207,460 students from India. China and India were followed by South Korea (68,217), Saudi Arabia (38,039), Canada (35,508) and Brazil (34,892), the report said.
SEVIS is a web-based system for maintaining information on international non-immigrant students and exchange visitors in the US.
“Forty-seven per cent (590,021) of all active SEVIS records hailed from either China (382,561) or India (207,460) in calendar year 2020, a slight decrease from 48 per cent in calendar year 2019. While the overall number of active F-1 and M-1 student records coming from Asia decreased by 143,697 from calendar year 2019 to calendar year 2020, student record trends varied across different countries,” it said. PTI