Global Engineering Enrollment Trends

Science and engineering education and research has been at the core of economic development and innovation. Recent report by National Science Foundation offers comprehensive and comparative information of international science and engineering education. Here are five interesting data points from the report:

– About 60% of all foreign graduate students in the United States in 2010 were enrolled in S&E fields, compared with 32% at the undergraduate level.

– India and China were the countries of origin for nearly two-thirds of the foreign S&E graduates in the United States in November 2010.

– Foreign students earned 57% of all engineering doctorates, 54% of all computer science degrees, and 51% of physics doctoral degrees. Their overall share of S&E degrees was one-third.

– In 2008, about 5 million first university degrees were awarded in S&E worldwide. Students in China earned about 23%, those in the European Union earned about 19%, and those in the United States earned about 10% of these degrees.

– In the United States, about 4% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2008 were in engineering. This compares with about 19% throughout Asia and 31% in China specifically.

The NSF report did not had much comparative statistics on India. Here is a related post with India data. In 2008-09, nearly 10% of all Indian students were enrolled in “Engineering/Technology” which translates into enrollment of nearly 1.3 million students. In addition, nearly 20% of all students (or ~2.6 million students) were enrolled in three-year Indian Science degrees.

-Dr. Rahul Choudaha


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