Good evening, everyone! It is such a pleasure to be with you here today. I’d like to thank all the U.S. university representatives who have joined our trade mission and are here today to help students make what could be one of the most crucial decisions of their lives: how and where to pursue their higher studies.
You know, one of the best things about my job here in India is that it gives me the opportunity to connect with amazing people from all walks of life, across the whole country. This includes the leaders of today – whether in the government, industry, or society as well as the rising leaders of tomorrow, like the students we have with us here this evening, who will help India chart its future.
There is no better way to gain new exposure, to enjoy new experiences, and to build new expertise, than through an international education. And there is no better place to pursue your educational goals than the United States of America. I should note the diversity and inclusivity on display here today is reflective of what you will find at U.S. campuses across our nation, meaning that there is a perfect fit for every student.
American students and Indian students have so much to learn from each other. And the partnerships you forge during your studies in the United States will further deepen the bonds between our two countries. Not only that, the skills and friendships you cultivate will pay dividends far into the future. The milestones you achieve through your studies in the United States will help illuminate a brighter future for billions of people in the decades to come.
The United States believes deeply – I believe deeply – in the transformative power of education. And so the U.S. Mission in India is doing everything we can to help as many Indian students as possible achieve their dreams of studying in the United States.
This summer, the U.S. Mission in India issued a record-breaking 82,000 student visas. It is a remarkable rebound after previous delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This figure also reflects the importance that the United States places on education. Our Embassy in New Delhi and our Consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai made processing student visas our top priority to ensure that qualified students could reach the United States in time to begin their higher studies.
We also worked with higher education institutions to maintain an open and welcoming environment for international students, even during the pandemic. Schools have instituted a broad range of safety measures to welcome students from abroad. They have increased flexibility to allow for in-person, online, and hybrid learning mechanisms. At the same time, schools have maintained a robust range of opportunities for international students.
And it is clear that our efforts are bearing fruit. Today, I could not be happier to say that there are more Indian students traveling to the United States for study than students from any other country. Indians comprise nearly 20 percent of all international students in the United States, a figure that is projected to surge in the coming years.
This number inspires me for several reasons. On the economic front, a thriving, well-educated workforce will bolster both our economies. The innovations you unlock will create more jobs and more opportunities for both our countries. This will increase security and prosperity in our countries and will propel both the United States and India to play a greater role on the world stage.
In addition, Indian students make crucial contributions to the social fabric of both the United States and India. They build lifelong connections with their American colleagues, peers, and friends. Many of these personal connections blossom into international partnerships.
The United States currently has one of the largest Indian diasporas in the world. Many members of that diaspora began their journey by coming to the United States to study. International student mobility is central to U.S. diplomacy and fundamental in maintaining an atmosphere of continued security, innovation, and economic prosperity.
For all these reasons, I’m so excited to see you all here this evening, and I’m excited for the conversations you’ll have together.
And after tonight, please continue to stay in touch and learn about the steps to apply for U.S. universities and for your student visa with the help of free advertising services from EducationUSA. Follow @EducationUSAIndia to join their information sessions and connect with an advisor.
I wish you all the best as you build your futures. We can’t wait to welcome you to the United States! Thank you and have a great evening.