More international students study in U.S., report says

Benjamin Sandell

According to an annual report by the Institute of International Education, there has been a steep increase in the number of students participating in international studies at universities across the nation.
The report, Opendoors 2000, stated the foreign student population in the United States is now 514,723, a 4.8 percent increase from last year. The report also revealed the University has one of the larger international student populations.
According to the study, 3,061 students from other countries attended the University during the 1999-2000 school year.
When compared to all other research universities, the University ranked 16th in number of enrolled international students. New York University was first on the list, with 4,890 foreign students.
Although the report did not address the number of students from the University studying abroad, University officials said that number is growing as well.
“We’re really happy to see this,” said Kay Thomas, director of International Student and Scholar Services. She said the University is an attractive institution for foreign students. “We have good programs and services,” she said.
According to Thomas, 966 new international students joined the University this fall, approximately 16 percent higher than the 806 new students who joined the year before.
People from other counties are realizing that an international education is important, she added, but the University has not done enough to recruit undergraduates.
University officials have been increasing their efforts to attract more students from other countries in hopes of raising the number of international students at the University even higher.
Kathleen Sellew, director of faculty services for the Office of International Programs, said the University has been showcasing its qualities to other countries and has been working with international representatives.
She added there has also been an increase in the number of University professors teaching at foreign institutions, and there is a rise of the population of University students studying abroad.
Michelle Cumming, collegiate initiative coordinator at Global Campus, said there has been a steady increase in study abroad enrollment since the early 1990s.
According to the OIP, the University now has 1,017 students studying abroad. This number is up from 800 students in the 1997-1998 school year. But, Cumming said, the Global Campus is not yet satisfied.
“The University has set the goal of increasing the activity to 2,500 undergraduates per year,” Cumming said.
The number of U.S. students studying abroad has increased 45 percent in the last four years, according to the IIE report.
President Clinton issued an international education policy earlier this year to support and encourage global studying abroad. A direct result of this policy is the U.S. International Education Week which began on Monday.
The rising trend of international study participation has been a global phenomenon, Cumming said. She added that the rise in America’s good economy and the strength of the dollar may be responsible.
Thomas said the increase in international participation is important because it enhances global and cultural perspective. As a result, “All academic fields benefit,” she said.

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