Lifestyle & Belief

Foreign students at US colleges: enrollment up 6%


Graduating students applaud as US President Barack Obama speaks during commencement ceremonies at Barnard College May 14, 2012 in New York City. On May 22, 2012, a group of bipartisan senators proposed easing visa limits for highly skilled foreign students and immigrant entrepreneurs who could stay and create jobs in America.



Foreign student enrollment at US universities jumped 6 percent in the 2011-12 academic year to hit a record 764,495 students, according to a report released today by the Institute of International Education, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The top five exporters of students to the US, according to the IIE’s latest annual “Open Doors” report on international study: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Researchers found that a 23 percent increase in students from China swelled the foreign student numbers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Now, one out of every four foreign college students is from China.

The increase in Chinese student enrollment, much of which is occurring at the undergraduate level, reflects the growing ability of Chinese families to foot the bill for an overseas college education, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Peggy Blumenthal, the senior counselor to the president of the IIE, noted that foreign student enrollment growth is due in part to US schools vigorously recruiting them, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Foreign students often do not qualify for financial aid and pay for their entire education on their own.

While California drew the most international students, researchers found a growing number of students made their way to the Midwest, with colleges in Indiana enrolling 10 percent more foreign students than the year before, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The five colleges that enrolled the most foreign students were the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York University, Purdue University's main campus and Columbia University, according to the study, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

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