According to a new report from Institute of International Education (IIE), international student enrollment is at a record high—up nearly 6 percent in the past academic year—and 1 percent more U.S. students are studying abroad.
These numbers are driven in part by a large increase in students from China (23 percent in total and 31 percent undergraduate) and from Saudi Arabia, notes the 2012 Open Doors Report on International Exchange.
For the first time, enrollment of foreign students is higher at the undergraduate than the graduate level. All told, international student exchange adds $22.7 billion to the U.S. economy.
In addition to Open Doors, IIE released the findings of its yearly “Snapshot” survey on fall enrollment at institutions of higher education, which ACE helped field.
According to the data, 61 percent of the 570 responding member campuses reported the total number of international students enrolled at their institutions increased this fall compared to the previous year.
The findings, while not comprehensive, suggest that the numbers of new international students and total international students are likely to continue to grow at a similar or even stronger rate of increase as last year.
In a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story on the Open Doors report, ACE President Molly Corbett Broad said that increased international enrollment on U.S. campuses “represents an enormous opportunity for our students to experience different cultures, different languages and different traditions.”
For more on the report, see the following:
International Exchange Increasing
Inside Higher Ed
China Continues to Drive Foreign-Student Growth in the United States
The Chronicle of Higher Education
US Colleges, Especially in Midwest, See Record Number of Foreign Students
The Christian Science Monitor
International Students Continue to Flock to U.S. Colleges, Grad Schools
U.S. News & World Report