For­eign stu­dents in US set record

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By CHINA DAILY in New York

For the first time, the num­ber of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents at­tend­ing col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in the US topped 1 mil­lion in an aca­demic year, and China led with 31.5 per­cent of all in­ter­na­tional stu­dents.

For the 2015-16 aca­demic year, to­tal in­ter­na­tional en­roll­ment was 1,043,839, a 7.1 per­cent in­crease over last year and nearly dou­ble the level of 10 years ago, ac­cord­ing to the an­nual Open Doors Re­port re­leased on Mon­day by the In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion (IIE) and pro­duced with funding from the US State Depart­ment.

Stu­dents from China and In­dia re­mained the lead­ing coun­tries of ori­gin and ac­counted for 84 per­cent of the growth in in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in 2015-16.

The num­ber of stu­dents from China in 2015-16 was 328,547, an in­crease of 8.1 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year, but the small­est growth since 2005, the re­port shows.

The num­ber of stu­dents from In­dia grew by 24.9 per­cent in 2015-16 to 165,918, fol­low­ing on a 29.4 per­cent growth rate the year prior and a 6.1 per­cent growth rate the year be­fore that.

Saudi Ara­bia re­placed South Korea as the third­largest coun­try of ori­gin, though the in­crease in the num­ber of Saudi stu­dents, 61,287, up 2.2 per­cent, rep­re­sents a slower rate of growth than that seen in re­cent years.

South Korea, with 61,007 stu­dents was the fourth­high­est-send­ing coun­try, and saw a de­cline 4.2 per­cent, rep­re­sent­ing the fifth straight year of de­clines in its stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.

Last year in the US, in­ter­na­tional stu­dents spent about $30.5 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the IIE.

Chi­nese stu­dents contributed $11.43 bil­lion to the US econ­omy, the US Com­merce depart­ment said.

Cal­i­for­nia was the top des­ti­na­tion state for in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, host­ing nearly 150,000 fol­lowed by New York.

New York City was again the top met­ro­pol­i­tan area for in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, fol­lowed by Los An­ge­les, Bos­ton and Chicago. Two ar­eas showed in­creases of more than 20 per­cent: Tampa, Florida, and Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia.

Eight schools en­rolled more than 10,000 in­ter­na­tional stu­dents. They are in de­scend­ing or­der of en­roll­ment: New York Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Ari­zona State Univer­sity, Columbia Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Illi­nois at Ur­bana-Champaign, North­east­ern Univer­sity, the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los An­ge­les and Pur­due Univer­sity.

At the US schools, some of the most pop­u­lar ar­eas of study are those re­lated to sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math fields (STEM). More than one-third of all in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in the aca­demic year 2015-2016 were study­ing en­gi­neer­ing or math and com­puter sci­ence, the re­port shows. En­gi­neer­ing over­took busi­ness and man­age­ment, the No 1 field in 2014-2015, to be­come the most pop­u­lar field of study among non-US stu­dents.

The num­ber of Amer­i­can stu­dents study­ing abroad has steadily in­creased, ac­cord­ing to the IIE.

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