Record num­ber of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in US

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - 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 fourth­high­est­coun­try, 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 onethird 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 growth in en­gi­neer­ing was driven, in large part, by a siz­able in­crease in stu­dents from In­dia, said Ra­jika Bhan­dari, deputy vice-pres­i­dent for re­search and eval­u­a­tion at IIE.

The num­ber of Amer­i­can stu­dents study­ing abroad has steadily in­creased, ac­cord­ing to the IIE. There were more than 100,000 more stu­dents study­ing abroad in 2014-15 — the lat­est aca­demic data avail­able — com­pared to a decade be­fore. The top four coun­tries of choice were the UK, Italy, Spain and France, fol­lowed by China.

In the 2014-15 aca­demic year, the num­ber of Amer­i­can stu­dents go­ing to China dropped for the third year in a row, fall­ing by 7.1 per­cent in 2014-15 over the year be­fore, and fol­low­ing on de­clines of 4.5 per­cent and 3.2 per­cent in the two years be­fore that.

In 2015, 60 per­cent of stu­dents study­ing in China came from other Asian na­tions.

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