Increase of overseas students in USA

13, August, 2014

The number of international students studying in the US in July 2014 is eight per cent higher than in July 2013, according to quarterly data released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

Meanwhile, there has been a five per cent decline in enrolments since the last quarter, with 966,333 international students on F-1 (academic) or M-1 (vocational) visas across nearly 9,000 institutions in July 2014 compared to 1,015,178 in April. But the drop in numbers is of little concern, as it was primarily due to students graduating – a trend that occurs every year.

The number of students studying on J-1 exchange visas, which students must be sponsored for and meet eligibility criteria, increased significantly in July 2014 by 24 per cent, up 44,606 students since April.

Although students from Asia remained at 75 per cent of the total, this is a five per cent decrease since April to 725,320, with China remaining the top source country at 28 per cent. Numbers from Korea and Vietnam had the largest percentage decrease from April 2014 statistics, at eight and seven per cent respectively.

The top five countries of citizenship remained unchanged from the previous quarter. India was in second place with 12 per cent (113,649 students), followed by Korea (83,902) in third place, despite the large decrease of student numbers. Saudi Arabia was in fourth place with 70,366 students and Canada in fifth place.

The state of California hosted the highest number of international students, with the University of Southern California topping the schools who welcomed the highest number at one particular institution. The states of California, Texas and New York made up 35 per cent of the total number of overseas students.

Students studying on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programmes were largely from Asia (85 per cent) and male (69 per cent). There was a slight gender imbalance across all fields with 56 per cent male students, the same as in the previous quarter. Western Asia sent the most male students (77 per cent), while Eastern Europe sent the most female students (58 per cent).

Across the 8,976 SEVP-certified schools in the July 2014 sample, an increase of 46 schools from the previous quarter, 72 per cent of international students were enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programmes. Language training remained in fourth place with 93,517 students.

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