Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Rising Number of Nepali Students in Universities in the U.S.

Posted by Ka Frank on November 20, 2009

Hike in Nepali students in US universities

eKantipur, November 17, 2009

Kathmandu- The number of Nepali students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education has increased significantly, according to Open Doors 2009. The annual report on international academic mobility published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, the number increased from 8,936 to 11,581 in 2008/09– a 29.6 per cent increase over the 2007/08 academic year.

Nepal ranks 11th among the leading countries of origin of international students, as it did the last year.  In the academic year 2006/2007, Nepal ranked 13th among the countries of origin of international students. India tops the list with 15.4% followed by China with 14.7%.

America’s nearly 3,000 accredited schools of higher education continue to attract new students in what is becoming a highly competitive international ‘market’ around the world, According to U.S. Embassy Kathmandu’s Counselor for Public Affairs Terry J. White.

The U.S. remains the preferred destination for students from Nepal who want to study abroad because of the quality and prestige associated with an American degree.


7 Responses to “Rising Number of Nepali Students in Universities in the U.S.”

  1. CPSA said

    Interesting. I’m surprised mainly given how poor the country is. Is this not mainly the elite sending their kids to Americans universities, or a broader swath of the population?

  2. Ka Frank said

    Good question. It could be the elite preparing their kids to leave Nepal, or preparing them to come back to the country with a thoroughly imperialist mindset.

  3. rajesh said

    We have 3 types of Nepali going abroad. A large majority are the workers going to India, Gulf countries, Malaysia, Korea and some other coutries to work, save some money, send back the money home and come back after the contract/job ends.In India alone there are about 1.3 million Nepalese workers and another half a million in other countries. The money they send, the ramittance is the life line of Nepali economy now. The second type are the professionals. They are solders in peace keeping missions, techical persons, managers, UN/INGO professionals etc. They also send money and mostly come back home. They have mostly middle class origin. By and large, they are nationalist. The third type are sons/daughters of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, businesspersons, traders etc and they are the ones who either do not come back home or if they return; they will come back with a “thoroughly imperialist mindset.” They who are abroad, they have formed a collectively bargaining organization called “Non Resident Nepali Association” and are reaping harvest even in poor Nepal. They are pressuring for tax benefits, more favors for investments etc. etc. They are not the bright stars that shines Nepali society,rather they will suck Nepal provide they get opportunity.

  4. Ka Frank said

    Thanks for the explanation Rajesh. It paints a clear picture.

  5. NSPF said

    I think it’s a mistake to first categorize Nepali students abroad as permanently damaged goods and then write them off as future blood suckers with an imperialist mindset, all on the basis of their parents social status. It is not preordained that because of their class origin, assuming they all come from elite families, they would definitely end up being that. It just isn’t factually/historically true; not for Nepal, nor for any other place.

    If you go back and review some recent past articles on this site you will note three or four examples of other possibilities.

    I am in contact with 11 South Asian postgraduate students, 4 of them coming from Nepal. Their age range is 25 to 28. None are from a working class background but not a single one of them is from the political elite background. They have all had to work a few years to save some money, but ninety percent of their first year’s tuition fee was raised by their parents taking long term bank loans and they have had to borrow three times more in the form of a very short term loan from loan sharks in order to prove to embassy officials that they have enough maintenance funds to finance their stay in the country.

    My understanding is that this is the most typical of the majority of South Asian students abroad, though I have known a handful in the past who had won scholarships or were working as research assistants, and then very rarely the children of big-shot reactionaries.

    These ex-spoilt prats, which they all admitted with loud laughter, are now desperately searching for second and even third part time jobs in order to survive. Not a single one of them could be said to have an imperialist mindset. Their mindset could be categorised to range from mildly progressive to somewhat radically critical of the status quo.

    Now, if even ten percent of those eleven thousand Nepali students are in the same boat as these eleven, then it’s a mistake to be so dismissive about them.

  6. Subas Rai said

    I agree with NSPF’s explanation regarding this issue. It’s nothing more than a negative stereotype that nepali students going abroad for higher education are a group of damaged pieces and they will harm their home country in future with an imperialist mindset. it sounds totally illogical in the sense that the statement above has no reliability and validity. I am a graduate student at one of the American Universities and I am not from an elite family as mentioned above. I do have a long term loan that i have borrowed from a bank. to my understanding, most of my nepali disporas having a higher education here belong to the same socio-economic status as i do to. My point is, it’s not fair enough to blame innocent and hard working nepali students attending educational institutions abroad of being harmful parasites.

  7. dawa sherpa said

    I am a Nepalese student and I have a few questionnaire about how can I apply for a university in US.I hope you can help me in some way.
    1. I want to know when and how should I apply and what should be my first step?
    2. Should I first contact in the US embassy ?
    3. How can I choose the university? Or, Embassy will do this for me after I visit Embassy?
    4. When will the new session starts in the University and when should I apply for it so that it won’t be late?
    5. Is scholarship possible?

    I would be happy and glad if you could help me out and reply me with detail information. Waiting to hear from you.

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