Magazine article University Business

International Students Still Flock to U.S

Magazine article University Business

International Students Still Flock to U.S

Article excerpt

AMERICA IS STILL A STRONG DRAW AS A PLACE FOR INTERNATIONAL students to attend college. According to the 2008 Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education, the number of international students studying in the United States during the 2007-2008 school year increased 7 percent over the previous year, the biggest gain since September 11, 2001.

Asia is still the region that sends the most students, with the top five countries being India, China, South Korea, Japan, and Canada.

Canada? "Canada has been in the top five or six since the beginning of Open Doors [in 1949]," says Peggy Blumenthal, executive vice president and chief operating officer at the IIE. Canadian students are attracted by the same qualities as students from more far-flung locations--our large system and its diversity of choices.

Despite Canada's continued support, most American higher education institutions are focusing recruitment efforts in Asia, which not only has a large population of students but many students who can pay their own way. "You don't see a lot of recruiting in Africa because they can't pay the fees," Blumenthal points out. The Asian countries, on the other hand, have strong economies and a growing middle class.

She also explains that while the undergraduate systems in India, China, and South Korea are improving, there aren't enough graduate programs to accept the students, so they are coming to America. The "world-class research" occurring here adds to the attraction, Blumenthal notes.

The students from Japan, however, "resemble American study abroad students. …

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