US May Attract Up to 2.8 Million International Students by 2034

United States North America International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Jun 19, 2024

New York University

The number of international students in the United States is expected to increase anywhere between 1.3 million and 2.8 million by 2034, a new analysis from HolonIQ, an international research firm, predicts.

Whether the US will see over 1.3 million international students or hit 2 million in the next decade will depend on geopolitical stability, welcoming policies, or national strategies. Currently, the number of international students in the US stands at 1,057,188 from more than 210 countries, Erudera.com reports.

According to HolonIQ projections, the US may attract about 1.5 million international students by 2030, maintaining its reputation as the top study destination for international students worldwide.

“With a co-ordinated national strategy, the US has upside potential for an additional 300K students,” researchers said.

India may be the most important source of international students to the US through 2034, overtaking China. Additionally, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Bangladesh are expected to be the next largest sending countries.

According to the Open Doors report released last year by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, China remains the largest source of international students in the US, with 289,526 students.

“Indian International Students in the US will overtake Chinese students by more than 100K by 2030 and represent nearly 500K international students alone. Vietnam, Nigeria and Bangladesh are the next largest and fastest growing cohorts for the US Expect South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia to continue a slow decline through to 2030,” report by HolonIQ notes.

Open Doors 2023 also revealed India became the top source of international graduate students in the US for the first time since the 2009/10 academic year. The number of Indian graduate students increased by 63 percent that year to 165,936 students, nearly 64,000 more than a year earlier.

“You did it, India! Each and every Indian student in the United States and the families supporting their success deserve recognition for this achievement,” US Ambassador Eric Garcetti said in a statement on November 13, 2023.

Based on HolonIQ predictions, the US will see about 474,000 Indian students by 2023, followed by:

  • 339,000 Chinese
  • 36,000 students from South Korea
  • 34,000 from Vietnam
  • 31,000 from Nigeria
  • 29,000 from Bangladesh

Overall, the number of students in higher education abroad is projected to hit 9 million by 2030. Today, more than 6 million students are studying worldwide.

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