Here’re the correct numbers of Indian students going to major study destinations

Not even a month ago I published a blog about the correct number of Indian students going to Australia, and I received many emails and calls concerning:

  • How many Indian students going to the U.S. nowadays?
  • What about Canada?
  • Has Australia become the ‘hot destination’ for higher studies amongst the Indian students?

Well, the point is: when I have said, “Yes, Canada and Australia have become the most popular countries for higher education,” I have still observed many times that the fact has been hard to believe not only by students but by many industry associates too. Having transfixed with that, I thought why not to give them the correct number of Indian students going to major study destinations?

So here’re the correct numbers of Indian students going to major study destinations – USA, Canada, UK, NZ, and Australia.

Table: Number of Indian students going to Top 5 Study destinations each year

Total of 5 Destinations114815135233101188871197063487726126960147338154276173095


Evident observation from the table and chart mentioned above:

  • As seen, in last four years, Canada has gained unmatched popularity as a study destination.
    • Post-study work visas,
    • Better chances of Permanent residency after study
    • Almost fixed criteria for a student visa in Black & White and
    • An hassle-free student visa process etc.

compared to all other major study destinations, might have been the win-win factors for students and Canada too. I would also be happy to give more reasons for this up surging trend via an email. For many industry stakeholders, the leap in numbers of Indian students going to Canada is surprising. But no worries, I would be answering the reasons behind the trend with my in-depth analysis in my next blog. So keep a watch over it.

  • In the last couple of years, the number of Indian students going to the U.S. (F1 visa) has declined phenomenally, 28% in 2017 and 16% in 2016. Out of many factors; Trump’s effect, Negative publicity, and Realisation of students about difficult transition to H1-B / Permanent residency from OPT; are considered essential. Overall, uncertainty about the future scope in the U.S. has feared a far higher number of Indian students than imagined.
  • For seven years, from 2008 to 2014, the trend of Indian students going to Australia has been bumpy. However, from 2014, Australia has also earned the reputation of a popular destination amongst Indian students for higher studies. To know more insights about the Australia market, Please read my blog: Want to know the correct number of Indian students going to Australia? Read this.
  • From 2013, UK is receiving quite a steady number of Indian students ranging between 10000 to 15000.
  • It was indeed surprising to notice that how New Zealand is going down in the list of Indian students for higher studies. Government policy changes and some unfavourable news publicity might have been the cause of it.

As seen, the most significant problem with our industry is huge ups and down. As an avid observer of such trends, I believe that even numbers can be backed by appropriate changes in student-oriented visa policy, migration policy, and post-study work rights.


Updated Data for 2018: Number of Indian students going to Top 5 Study destinations:


Updated: September 2018

Enjoy the data sources as well:



Please refer as mentioned here in first row of

Also refer a Sheet at as mentioned on webpage have slight different data.

USA:  AND (F1 Visas)


Number of Study-related visas for  Indian Nationals (excluding Short-term students for course duration less than 1 year including English course, Prep course etc…) at AND


Rupesh Patel

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Sajal ModivihandwightJing Luan, Ph.D.Rupesh Patel Recent comment authors
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hi, would you have any updated data on international mobility of nurses to these countries from India.

Jing Luan, Ph.D.
Jing Luan, Ph.D.

Would need to know the numbers separated by Graduate and Undergraduate, and if possible, separate Undergraduate into Universities and Community Colleges. Thank you very much for the good work.

Sajal Modi
Sajal Modi

Hi Rupesh! Thank you for this excellent post! I have the same question as Jing’s. Could you  please help?


Hi Rupesh, thanks for the easy to read presentation of the data. Do you have any knowledge of the Indian students and the AP tests. Interested in the numbers taking each exam, but more interested in the numbers preparing through self-study.


This is very innovative and informative also useful Article. Thank you for sharing this Article.

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