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The Phenomena Of Declining Graduate Applications And Admissions Of International Students In Us Engineering Colleges: An Insight From Sabbatical In India (At Indian Institute Of Technology)

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

International Engineering Education I

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1317.1 - 11.1317.11



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Paper Authors


M.P. Sharma University of Wyoming

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M. P. Sharma is Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at University of Wyoming. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University in 1977. His teaching and research areas of interest are energy, entropy, and environment; including Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Air Pollution Control, and Petroleum Engineering. One of the current interests of research and teaching includes computer based synchronous and asynchronous online (Internet) teaching and learning methods.

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The Phenomena of Declining Graduate Applications and Admissions of International Students in US Engineering Colleges: An Insight from Sabbatical in India (at Indian Institute of Technology)


Traditionally, for a long time, India and China had been, by far, the largest supplier of well prepared scientists and engineers for the graduate research and degree programs in US and other developed countries. US universities and colleges had been the most popular and attractive destination for graduate studies and research for students and scholars around the world. Currently, India and China have caught attention of the world as being fastest growing nations in technology, industry, economy, and science & engineering education. That combined with the deplorable September 11 terrorist episode has set in motion a new phenomenon that relates to demand, supply, recruitment, and hiring of international graduate students in USA and in other developed countries. This paper is based on a case study to understand the cause of both (a) nation-wide decline in the number of high quality international applicants in engineering graduate programs, and (b) decline in numbers of those who actually end up joining after offers are made. The author conducted this study when he was on sabbatical from University of Wyoming in fall 2004. He worked at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Kanpur campus) in India. IITs in India are known for graduating the best and the brightest engineers and scientists in India and have been a prominent source of excellent quality graduate students and research scholars in American, European and Australian universities. I spent some time on doing recruiting for our graduate programs (for most part I was interacting with the engineering faculty on research projects). I gave seminars and conducted interviews with students focused on the recruitment of graduate students for the Engineering College. I also had interviews with administrators, professors, and research scholars with a focus on the topic of recruitment of graduate students for US engineering colleges. Interestingly, during that period several other recruitment teams visited IIT campus from other American and European universities. I participated in interactions and discussions with two noteworthy groups. One group was from Engineering College of Tulane University (led by the Dean of Engineering College) and other was a consortium of German Universities (several universities conducted a seminar). During these discussions some interesting sharing of experiences, problems, and issues related with recruitment of international students for American and European countries emerged. In this paper I’ll discuss the details of those perspectives and observations and summarize the issues that are construed as hindering blocks for the recruitment of high quality engineering graduate students in US universities and colleges.

“Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2006, American Society for Engineering Education”

Sharma, M. (2006, June), The Phenomena Of Declining Graduate Applications And Admissions Of International Students In Us Engineering Colleges: An Insight From Sabbatical In India (At Indian Institute Of Technology) Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1024

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