International students up 40 percent over past decade at U.S. schools

Posted by Renee Schoof on November 11, 2013 

LIFE NTR-CMP-PIE-SCIENCE 2 LA

Ying Lu Peng, left, a bio-chemistry major, and Carmen Peng, a business major check the PH of rum they are using in the crust during a Science and Food class at UCLA in Westwood, California, May 9, 2013.

ANNE CUSACK — MCT

The number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities is up by 40 percent over a decade ago, and the rate of increases has been rising steadily in recent years, according to annual data released today.

The number of foreign students increased by 7 percent to a record 819,644 students in the 2012-13 academic year. And more than 283,000 U.S. students went abroad to study for credit. That’s fewer than 10 percent of U.S. undergraduates. Only about 3 percent of U.S. students who go abroad studied away from home for a full academic year. The vast majority went for a semester or less.

Some other interesting facts:

Students from the top three countries _ China, India and South Korea _ are now 49 percent of all international students here. The number of students from China is going up, and from the other two it’s going down.

Saudi Arabia had one of the biggest gains _ 30.5 percent more students this year than last year. There are 44,566 Saudi students studying in the U.S. this year, or 5.4 percent of all international students. The report says that’s largely due to a Saudi government scholarship in place over the past decade.

The top schools attracting foreign students, in order, are the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, New York University and Columbia University. Penn State is No. 10. The University of Washington moved up from 18 to 14, one of the biggest jumps.

The report, called “Open Doors,” is published by the Institute of International Education, a non-profit group that conducts the count in collaboration with the State Department.

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