Human Capital Flight in Nepal

Nepal Ranks 11th Among the Leading Countries of Origin for International Student in the United States of America. The number of Nepali students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education increased from 8,936 to 11,581 in 2008/09 a 29.6% increase over the 2007/08 academic year, according to Open Doors 2009, the annual report on international academic mobility published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. 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%.

This year's Open Doors report shows that the total number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 8% to an all-time high of 671,616 in the 2008/09 academic year, and the total number now exceeds for the second year in a row what had been the prior peak enrollment year (2002/03), and is 14.5% higher than the number of international students in United States' higher education that year. Open Doors data show an even stronger increase in the number of new international students, those enrolled for the first time at a U.S. college or university in Fall 2008. New international student enrollments rose by 15%, following on 10% increases in each of the previous two years.

According to U.S. Embassy Kathmandu's Counselor for Public Affairs Terry J. White, "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." 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.

Another contributing factor is greater access to comprehensive and accurate information about study in the U.S. through EducationUSA advising offices in Nepal and an increased level of activity by United States colleges and universities to attract students from Nepal. Together with the U.S. Education Foundation in Nepal, we work to let Nepali students and their parents know that, with a little effort at guided research, an American education can be within their reach."