Inside Higher Ed | 12 November 2012
The number of international students in the United States increased by 5.7% in 2011-12, growing to a record high of 764,495, according to this year’s “Open Doors” data, published annually by the Institute of International Education. For the first time since 2000-01, the number of international undergraduates exceeds the number of foreign graduate students.
International Students in the U.S. by Academic Level in 2011-12
|Graduate||Non-Degree||Optional Practical Training||Total|
American colleges have stepped up their recruitment of international undergraduate students in recent years. They’ve been motivated both by financial considerations — foreign undergraduates typically pay their own way and, for public institutions, pay out-of-state tuition rates — and by the educational opportunities created by an internationally diverse student population.
“The increase of undergraduates will have a very profound effect on the American classroom,” said Peggy Blumenthal, senior counselor to the president at IIE. “Graduate students tend to stay in their lab, do their work, whereas [international] undergraduates, they’re going to be lab-mates with American students, they’re going to be dorm-mates, and they’re going to be in classrooms and in dorms late at night sharing ideas.”