American community colleges offer higher education at lower costs to Indian students
American community colleges – Facing stiff competitions from other nations in terms of attracting Indian students in the higher education arena, the US government is trying to cut costs of higher education in order to get more students from India, according to an ET report.
Caroline Casagrande, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs, US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs told the daily, “India is a key partner for us. In fact, we have the second largest number of global students from India after China. One of the initiatives that we are promoting among Indian students is the 2+2 bachelor’s degree program through which they can study the first two years in a community college, where the cost of education is lower and then go to the better degree-granting institution for the final two years.”
During a visit to Delhi, she told the business daily that many of the American community colleges had improved and grown over the last couple of years and now offered superior quality higher education at lower costs.
“They also have exclusive relationships with some of the top varsities which give the international students a better opportunity of joining top courses of their choice and studying in two different institutions for their degree, hence experiencing more diversity as international students in the US, Casagrande pointed out.
Significantly, the number of Indian students who have issued US visas under the F, M and J categories dipped marginally to 57,312 in 2018 from 58,031 in the previous year, citing the visa statistics provided by the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, the ET report further said.
Among other steps to attract more students from India, the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is also contemplating on rolling out an exclusive Education USA India App in order to help and support Indian students aiming at going to the US for higher education, said the report.
“Indian students in the US are also very concerned over work opportunities after they complete their education and the fact that the H1B work permit visa lottery system has recently been weighted to open up additional spots for candidates with masters and PhD degrees from the US varsities is a positive development, Casagrande added.
Meanwhile, the members of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) alleged that the move fit tracking devices on the Indian students were “ridiculous” and “grossly unjust.” Last month, in a move, termed as “deplorable” by local attorneys and residents, the US police had strapped tracking devices on to several Indian students caught in the University of Farmington fiasco, said the ET report. It has been done to restrict the movement of these students, while federal agents probe their immigration status, quoting sources the report said.
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