India's popularity as preferred edu destination growing:Hopper

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Chennai, Feb 1 (UNI) US Consul General David Hopper today said India was growing in popularity as a preferred destination for Education among American students.

Inaugurating the decennial celebrations of city-based Alpha College of Arts and Science at Porur, near here, Mr Hopper said educational exchange brings international understanding and there was a pressing need to encourage American institutions to link with Indian institutions.

More than two lakh American students study abroad each year and the number has grown by about 10 per cent annually over the past decade. ''I am pleased to note that India is growing in popularity as a destination for American students,'' Mr Hopper said.

Last year, India entered the list of top ten destinations, and this year the number grew by another 20 per cent. ''While this is good, the actual number of 2,115 students is too small. We need to do more to encourage American institutions to link with Indian institutions and to inspire Americans to come here to study,'' Mr Hopper added.

''During my more than 32 years as an American diplomat, I have had the first hand chance to see the value of international education and educational exchange,'' he said.

Of the 583,000 foreign students from over 200 countries, who were studying in US colleges and universities, 83,833 were Indians, he said adding the Indians form the largest single foreign group, even larger than China.

Prof S Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras said education shaped not just individuals but the entire nation.

In today's knowledge-based economy, barely nine per cent of eligible candidates go in for higher education.

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