China’s rise to the top—it had 200,000 more students last year to the U.S. than it did just eight years earlier—reflects the growing incomes and increasing globalization of the country’s citizens, analysts say.
Chinese students were much more likely to go to the states for undergraduate studies than Indian students. Only around 12% of Indians that study in the U.S. were there for undergraduate studies during the past school year, compared to 40% of Chinese students, the IIE study showed.
It makes sense, said Akhil Daswani, chief operating officer of OnCourse Vantage, an education consulting company in India, an undergraduate degree is a luxury few Indians can afford.
“If you are going to spend $250,000 over four years you have to have a considerable amount of disposable income,” Mr. Daswani said. “Undergraduate schools are marketing heavily (in China). It is the first place they want to go because they are getting so much business.”
When they go for an international degree, Indians prefer to get more bang for their rupee, they tend to go for two-year graduate courses that lead to high-paying jobs.