India gets maximum foreign students from Nepal followed by Afghanistan while Karnataka is the favourite city for foreigners to pursue higher education in India, according to HRD Ministry data.
The number of males is higher than that of female students from foreign countries and B.Tech is the most popular course among foreigners followed by BBA.
The total number of foreign students enrolled in higher education is 47,427.
Karnataka has the highest number of foreign students at 10,023 followed by Maharashtra (5003), Punjab (4533), UP (4514), Tamil Nadu (4101), Haryana (2872), Delhi (2141), Gujarat (2068) and Telangana (2020).
"Foreign students come from 164 different countries from across the globe. The top 10 countries constitute 63.7 per cent of the total foreign students enrolled. Highest share of foreign students come from neighbouring countries of which Nepal is 26.88 pc of the total, followed by Afghanistan (9.8 pc), Bangladesh (4.38 pc), Sudan (4.02 pc), Bhutan constitutes (3.82 pc) and Nigeria (3.4 pc)," according to the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) by the HRD Ministry.
"The percentage of foreign students from United States of America is 3.2 per cent, Yemen (3.2 pc), Sri Lanka (2.64 pc) and Iran (2.38 pc)," it said.
Although maximum number of foreign students comes from Nepal, the maximum number enrolled in PhD are from Ethiopia (295) followed by Yemen (149).
The highest number of foreign students are enrolled in undergraduate courses, that is, 73.4 per cent of the total foreign students, followed by Post Graduate with about 16.15 per cent enrolment.
"Among the top courses is B.Tech with 8,861 students with 85 per cent male students. The second popular course is BBA (3354), BSc (3320) and BA (2226). B.Pharma, BCA, MBBS, nursing and BDS are among the popular undergraduate courses," the survey report said.
For the annual survey, the higher education institutions were categorized in 3 broad categories--university, college and stand-alone institutions. A total of 962 universities; 38,179 colleges and 9190 stand alone institutions participated in the survey for the year 2018-19.