March 2015 \ Diaspora News \ Overseas education
Indian ‘Highfliers’

A new segment of ‘Highflier’ students, who are likely to be both academically prepared and financially independent, are expected to boost the stagnant number of Indian students in US institutions, according to an Indian-American expert

By Arun Kumar

World Education Services (WES), a not for profit organization that provides evaluations of international credentials to institutions in the US and Canada, groups students into four categories - Highfliers, Explorers, Strivers and Strugglers. Indian students are most likely to be Strivers, who seek “value for money” and are highly dependent on bank loans or financial support from universities, says Mr Rahul Choudaha of WES Research and Advisory Services. Strivers also tend to enrol in STEM related fields of study that have good employment potential. Many follow it with a 29-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) experience in the information technology industry and finally seek H1-visas for employment, he says. In 2013/14, 27 percent of all Indian students in the US were on OPT as compared to 12 percent of all international students. The majority are concentrated in large US metro areas with ample information technology jobs like New York and San Jose.