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Photo: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty

Applications from Indian national students to American graduate programs fell 12% from 2017 to 2018, leading to an overall decline in international enrollment in U.S. universities, according to a new study from the Council of Graduate Schools.

The big picture: India is one of the biggest sources of foreign students in American universities, where international enrollment has fallen for two consecutive years. "While two data points is not a trend, we're troubled that there's a decrease for the first time ever," says Suzanne Ortega, head of the Council of Graduate Schools.

The drop in Indian applications is likely due to a combination of factors including the weakening Indian rupee, the increasing quality of Indian graduate programs and the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S., Hironao Okahana, a co-author of the report, tells Axios.

  • Applications from China, the other major source of international students, held steady.

The bottom line: International students who pay full tuition support graduate education at U.S. institutions, allowing the universities to offer discounted or free schooling to domestic students. That the flow of foreigners to American universities is starting to thin spells trouble for the business model.

Some good news: The share of students coming to U.S. universities from some of the least developed countries in the world — largely in sub-Saharan Africa — is on the rise, the study found.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
10 mins ago - World

True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds

Expand chart
Data: IHME; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

There have been twice as many deaths from COVID-19 around the world as have been reported, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which analyzed excess mortality and other factors.

The big picture: The U.S. has undercounted by over 300,000 deaths, while the death tolls in India and Mexico — second and third on the list, respectively — are nearly three times the official numbers, according to the analysis.

Top Wall Street cop says report on meme stocks is coming

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wall Street's top regulator says a report examining meme stock mania will be coming "sometime this summer."

The big picture: It will "detail the range of activities" that came out of the January events," SEC chair Gary Gensler said Thursday at a third congressional hearing held to dissect the GameStop trading phenomenon.

Exclusive: Jennifer Garner to be featured in Mother's Day vaccination campaign

Jennifer Garner. Photo by IngleDodd Media/via Getty Images

Actress Jennifer Garner will team up with the Biden administration in a coordinated campaign to encourage vaccinations around Mother's Day, Axios has learned.

Driving the news: The administration is eager to keep up the pace of inoculations now that all adult Americans are eligible but the pace of vaccinations is starting to slow.