- Students from India and Brazil show the largest increases; Latin America is fastest growing region
- Study abroad by U.S. students up by five percent
In 2014/15, there were 88,874 more international students enrolled in U.S. higher education compared to the previous year. India, China and Brazil account for most of the growth in international students on U.S. campuses. While China remains the top country of origin of international students in the U.S., increasing by 11 percent to 304,040, India’s growth outpaced China’s this year, with students from India increasing by 29.4 percent to a record high of 132,888. This is the highest rate of growth for Indian students in the history of the Open Doors project, which spans back to 1954/55. The last time India grew at a comparable rate (29.1) was in 2000/01 when the number of students from India exceeded 50,000 for the first time. In 2014/15, China and India together accounted for 67 percent of the increase in international students, and they now constitute nearly 45 percent of the total number of international students in U.S. higher education.
There were large increases in the number of students from Brazil, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, all countries whose governments are investing heavily in international scholarships for their students, sending tens of thousands of them abroad to develop a globally competent workforce. Nigeria also ranked among the fastest growing international student populations in the United States. Students from Brazil increased 78 percent to 23,675 this year, accounting for 12 percent of total growth. Latin America & the Caribbean was the fastest growing region of origin for international students in the U.S., increasing by 19 percent over the prior year, and benefiting from the support of 100,000 Strong in the Americas, a public-private partnership led by the U.S. State Department, as well as other initiatives launched by governments in the region.
International graduate students at U.S. institutions increased more than international undergraduate students, reversing a two-year trend in which undergraduates accounted for the greater number of new students. This is largely because most of the students coming from India were studying at the graduate level. The increase in undergraduate students from China, which drove overall numbers in recent years, was at a lower rate of growth in 2014/15 than in prior years. However, 2014/15 was the first year ever that Chinese undergraduates outnumbered Chinese graduate students.
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