- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2006

American universities are gradually regaining international students after experiencing drops following September 11, with the numbers of newly enrolled international students increasing nearly 8 percent, according to the Institute of International Education’s annual report.

The report said that during 2005 and 2006, the number of new students was 142,923, increasing about 7.7 percent from 131,945 the previous school year. The total number of international students — including those already enrolled — was 564,766.

“America’s colleges and universities have begun to see positive results from their proactive efforts to recruit international students and make them feel welcome on campus,” said Allen E. Goodman, president and chief executive officer of the Institute of International Education. “With several thousand campuses able to host international students, the U.S. has a huge untapped capacity to meet the growing worldwide demand for higher education.”

The report also showed that 42 percent of international students in the United States are from Asia, including 76,503 from India, 62,582 from China, 58,847 from South Korea and 38,712 from Japan. Students from South Korea showed a noticeable increase, up 10.3 percent from the previous year. Enrollment of Japanese students, however, declined 8.3 percent during the same period of time.

Among other findings:

• The most favorable fields of study for international students in the United States are engineering, business and management, which account for 34 percent of coursework for all international students.

• The leading host institutions for international students are the University of Southern California, with 6,881 international students, and Columbia University in New York, with 5,575. They are followed by Indiana’s Purdue University, New York University in New York and the University of Texas at Austin.

• The University of Maryland at College Park ranks 18th, with 3,476 international students. These numbers reflect undergraduate and graduate programs.

• American students studying abroad increased in 2005 and 2006, reaching 205,983. Students favor European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France, which account for 60 percent of all American student destinations. Unlike a great inflow of Asian students to U.S. colleges and universities, the number of American students whose destinations are Asia only account for 8.1 percent.

• Social sciences, humanities, business and management are leading majors among Americans studying abroad.

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