KATHMANDU: The number of Nepali students who entered the United States (US) for higher education in the academic year 2008/09 increased by 30 per cent in comparison to 2007/08 academic year, according to Open Doors 2009, an annual report on international student mobility, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

The report provided to The Himalayan Times recently by the US Embassy in Kathmandu said that the number of Nepali students enrolled in the US institutions of higher education has registered an increase from 8,936 to 11,581 in 2008/09, an increase by 30 per cent over the 2007/08 academic year.

The report commissioned with the support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, further states that Nepal ranks 11th among the leading countries of origin in sending international students to the US.

Terry J White, Counsellor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Kathmandu said, “The US remains

the preferred destination for students from Nepal who want to study abroad because of the quality and prestige associated with an American degree.”

White further said that the America’s nearly 3,000 accredited institutions of higher education continue to attract new students.

In the academic year 2006/07, Nepal slipped into 13th position in the list of sending countries. However, in the last one year, Nepal made an impressive comeback by securing 11th position, the report has said.

Overall, the number of international students entering colleges and universities in the US has increased by 8 per cent to an all time high of 671,616 in the 2008/09 academic year, the report said.

This year saw the largest ever increase in international student enrollments in the US since 1980/81.

India remains the leading country of origin for international students enrolled in US institutions for the eighth successive year, followed by China. The number of Indian students enrolled in 2008/09 in the US institutions increased by nine per cent to reach 103,260, while those from China totalled 98,510. Similarly, South Korea and Canada rank third and fourth, respectively.

White added that one of the factors responsible for the increased student enrollment could be the greater access to comprehensive and accurate information provided through Education USA advising centres in Nepal.