The number of Indian students in the US declined in contrast to the surging number of Chinese students amid an overall increase of foreign students coming to America, a survey shows.

The overall number of foreign students coming to the US rose 5.7% from 723,277 in 2010/2011 to 764,495 in 2011/2012. They are mostly coming from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada, according to the annual “Open Doors” survey of international students in the US.

India surpassed China in terms of the number of students in the early part of last decade but the figure for Chinese students has shot up since then, increasing 23% from 157,558 in 2010/2011 to 194,029 in 2011/2012.

Meanwhile, the number of Indians opting to study in the US dropped for the second successive year, falling 3.5% to 100,270 in 2011/2012 from the previous year, after the number peaked at around 105,000 in 2009.

Nearly 60% of Indian students in the US are taking up engineering followed by fields in math and computer sciences, while most Chinese are pursuing business or management.

The decline in numbers from India as well as Japan was due in part to global and domestic economic issues, growing higher education opportunities at home and stronger employment opportunities locally, the survey indicated.

The report also revealed that more American students are studying abroad, mostly in the UK with 33,000 Americans, followed by Italy, Spain and France.