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Rise in Number of Foreign Students Studying in India, BTech Most opted Course

Rise in Number of countries sending students to India (Image by Shutterstock / Representational)

Rise in Number of countries sending students to India (Image by Shutterstock / Representational)

Most of the students coming to study in India are males. The number of females is more in medical courses. Karnataka is top choice of foreign students regardless of country, gender or the field of study.

There has been a rise in the number of foreign students preferring to ‘Study in India’. A total of 49,348 students from foreign nations have enrolled in India in the academic year 2019-20. This is a rise from last year when 47,427 students chose India as their study destination. There is not only a rise in the number of students but also a rise in the number of countries. Till 2019, students from 164 countries sent their students to India. The number of countries has gone up to 168 in the academic year 2019-20, according to the data shared by the Ministry of Education.

Thanks to its booming IT sector, most of the students come to India to study engineering, especially a BTech.

BTech alone has 9,503 foreign students, followed by BSc with 3964 students, and BBA with 3290 foreign nationals. BE (2596), BPharma (2451 students), BA (2295), and BCA (1820) are the next choices of foreign nationals coming to India.

Medicine, which is one of the hot choices for Indian students comes at a lower rank in the choice list of international students. As per the data, 1779 foreign nationals enrolled in MBBS courses in India in the academic year 2019-20 followed by BSc nursing with 1109 students. Bachelor of Dental Surgery B.D.S. has a total number of 651 students.


At the postgraduate level, MBA opted choice followed by MA and MSc. Postgraduate courses, however, remain the top choice 74.3 per cent of total foreign enrolments being at ug level, as per the data.

Lesser Females opt to Study in India

Among students who opt to study in India, most of the students are men. Medicine as a field, however, has more females than men. Country-wise, USA and Malaysia are the only two nations which send more number of female students to India than male, as opposed to the usual trend of more male students opting to study in India.

In MBBS 58.9 per cent of students are females, in BSc nursing almost all - 92.2 per cent of students - are females. In BDS, the number of female students is at 61.9 per cent.

At every other level and course men have more participating. In PhD, 78.2 per cent are male and in MBA 68.4 per cent are male students. As many as 60.2 per cent of foreign students studying in MA in India are males and 70.3 per cent in MSc. The ratio is most skewed in favour of males in BTech programme where 83.8 per cent of foreign nationals are male.

Karnataka Top Choice of Foreign Students

Karnataka has the highest number of students coming from foreign countries which at 10231. Apart from Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh (5089), Punjab (4966), Maharashtra (4599), Tamil Nadu (4461), Delhi (2345), Haryana (2321), Telangana (2261), Gujarat (2227), and Andhra Pradesh (2094) reflects more than 2,000 foreign students, according to AISHE data.

Most Students Come from Nepal

Even as the number of countries opting to study in India has gone up. The highest influx of students continues to be from Nepal with 28.1 per cent. Followed by Afghanistan 9.1 per cent, Bangladesh 4.6 per cent, and Bhutan 3.8 per cent.

The top 10 countries in terms of the number of students come from also include Sudan (3.6 per cent), U.S. (3.3 per cent), Nigeria (3.1 per cent), Yemen (2.9 per cent), Malaysia (2.7 per cent), United Arab Emirates (2.7 per cent).

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first published:June 19, 2021, 10:00 IST