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First-time Int'l Student US Enrollments Up 10.2%

First-time International Student U.S. Enrollments Up 10.2 Percent

The number of non-U.S. students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions during the 2006-2007 academic year rose by 3 percent to a total of 582,984, and new enrollments rose sharply, according to the Institute of International Education's (IIE) 2007 report on international education exchange.

"The increase in enrollments we see in this year's Open Doors statistics reflects the dynamism, diversity and excellence of U.S. higher education institutions in a competitive international environment, and demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. government and U.S. higher education leaders to welcoming international students," Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes said in welcoming the report, Open Doors 2007.

First-time enrollments rose 10.2 percent in 2006-2007, as compared with an 8 percent rise the previous year. International student enrollments declined for a few years in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

"Vigorous efforts at the national, state and campus levels have combined to produce this rebounding of international student enrollments," said IIE President Allan E. Goodman.

The State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) funds the annual Open Doors study, which is based on a survey of nearly 3,000 accredited U.S. educational institutions by IIE, a nonprofit educational and cultural exchange organization based in New York City.

"The continued growth in international student enrollments comes as good news," said Constantine W. Curris, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). "International students contribute both global awareness and cultural diversity on our college and university campuses; in doing so, they are an important part of enhancing our students' education. AASCU institutions are strongly committed to providing a welcoming environment for international students."

According to Open Doors 2007, the top 10 fields of study for international students in the United States in 2006-2007 were business and management (18 percent of total), engineering (15 percent) and physical and life sciences (9 percent), social sciences (8 percent), mathematics and computer sciences (8 percent), fine and applied arts (5 percent), health professions (5 percent), intensive English language (4 percent), education (3 percent) and humanities (3 percent). Fields growing the fastest in popularity were intensive English language (up 30 percent) and social sciences (up 6 percent).

For the sixth year in a row, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles leads U.S. institutions in international student enrollment (7,115), with Columbia University in New York coming in second (5,937). Other campuses in the top 10 are New York University in New York (5,827), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (5,685), Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana (5,581), University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan (5,429), the University of Texas at Austin (5,303), the University of California, Los Angeles, better known as UCLA (4,704), Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (4,514), Boston University in Boston (4,484), and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (4,484).


The leading country of origin for international students in the United States for the sixth consecutive year was India (83,833), with the number of Indian students increasing 10 percent over 2005-2006.

China ranked second with 67,723 (up 8 percent), South Korea third with 62,392 (up 6 percent).

Other locations sending sharply increasing numbers of students to study include Saudi Arabia (up 129 percent), Vietnam (up 31 percent), Hong Kong (up 9.3 percent), and Nepal (up 28 percent).

A recent IIE study found that 46 percent of the survey participants are from Asia, followed by 26 percent from Europe, 13 percent from Latin America, 7 percent from sub-Saharan Africa, and 6 percent from North Africa and the Middle East.

Open Doors report was released at the beginning of the eighth annual International Education Week, which is sponsored jointly by the Department of State and the Department of Education.

The purpose of International Education Week, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is "to highlight the critical role of education in our efforts to secure a bright future based on international partnership and understanding."


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