As the number of international students at colleges and universities in the US increased by 8% to an all-time high of 671,616 in the 2008/09 academic year, students from India made up 103,260 of the overall number, according to the Open Doors report, which is published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the US government.
India remains the leading place of origin for the eighth consecutive year, increasing the number by 9%. Students from China increased 21% for a total of 98,510. South Korea, in third place, increased 9% to 75,065. Canada, the only non-Asian country in the top five, rose to fourth place with an increase of 2% to 29,697, surpassing Japan, now in fifth place after students' number declined for the fourth consecutive year, decreasing by 14% to 29,264. Taiwan remained in sixth place, with 28,065 students, a 3% decline. The number of students from Mexico, the seventh-leading sender, remained flat this year, with a total of 14,850.
Students from Turkey (#8) increased by 10% to 13,263, while Vietnam jumped into the ninth spot with a dramatic 46% increase to 12,823. Vietnam's 2008/09 growth follows increases of 45% in 2007/08 and 31% in 2006/07, moving it into the top 10 this year from 20th place only two years ago. Saudi Arabia, the tenth leading sender, increased by 28% to 12,661, consistent with its substantial investment in government funded scholarships. Other notable increases were seen in enrollments from Nepal (#11), up 30% to 11,581 students, Germany (#12), up 9% to 9,679, and Brazil (#13), up 16% to 8,767 students in the United States. Slight declines were seen in the numbers of students from Thailand (#14) and Indonesia (#17), -3.0% and -2.4% respectively. The United Kingdom (#15), Hong Kong (#16), France (#18) and Colombia (#19) showed increases of less then 5%. Nigeria was #20, with an increase of 1% to 6,256 and Kenya was #22, with a 1% increase.
This is the eighth consecutive year that India has remained in the top spot. Authors of the report said the findings do not reflect the full impact of the past year's economic downturn, since decisions to come to the United States to study were made before the financial effects were fully felt in the sending countries.
They also reported that the largest growth this year was seen in undergraduate enrollments, which increased by 11%, compared to a 2% increase in graduate enrollments. This growth was driven largely by increases in undergraduate students from China, they said, suggesting that increased affluence is enabling Chinese to send their children to US for undergrad education, where there is typically less scholarship and funding.
According to Open Doors 2009, universities in California hosted the largest number of foreign students with 93,124, up 10%, followed by New York with 74,934, up 7%, and Texas with 58,188, up 12%. The New York City metropolitan area continues to be the leading city for international students, with 59,322 enrolled in area schools, up 8%. The Los Angeles metropolitan area is in second place with 42,897 international students, up 11%.
For the eighth consecutive year, Open Doors reports that the University of Southern California hosted the largest number of international students, this year reporting 7,482. New York University held in second place with 6,761 international students, and Columbia University, also holding steady in third place, hosted 6,685. Rounding out the top five 2008/09 host institutions are University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (6,570 students) and Purdue University (6,136 students). Open Doors reports that 171 US campuses hosted more than 1,000 students each.
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