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Updated 10:00 AM November 19, 2007




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U-M sending students abroad, also luring international students

The University attracted 5,429 international students to the state in 2006-07, the sixth highest total in the nation, according to an Institute of International Education report showing the first major increase for international enrollments at U.S. universities since 2001-02.

The University of Southern California had the largest number of international students (7,115) followed by Columbia University, New York University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University and U-M, according to the Open Doors '07 report. The reports are based on federally required counts of currently enrolled as well as recently enrolled foreign students continuing academic or other related training in the United States.

The report found U-M and its University Research Corridor partner, Michigan State University, in the top 20 for international enrollment and study abroad programs. MSU ranked second in the nation for sending the most students abroad (2,558) during 2005-06, while U-M ranked 15th, with 1,701. For international enrollments, MSU ranked 16th in the nation.

Skilled immigrants are major job and wealth creators: more than 33 percent of Michigan high tech startup companies were begun by foreign-born founders between 1995 and 2005 and most of those immigrants were lured to the state by its research universities, according to a recent Duke University study.

The number of international students enrolled in colleges and universities nationally increased by 3 percent to 582,984 in the 2006-07 academic year, according to the report, published annually by the IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This marked the first significant national increase in total international student enrollments since 2001-02.

The report also found U.S. students are studying abroad in record numbers, increasing program participation by 8.5 percent to a total of 223,534. The number of American students receiving academic credit for study abroad has increased 150 percent in the past decade, from fewer than 90,000 students in 1995-96.

"The increase in enrollments we see in this year's Open Doors statistics reflects the dynamism, diversity and excellence of U.S. higher education institutions in a competitive international environment,'' says Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes.

IIE President Allan Goodman adds: "Given increased global competition for talent, as well as expanded higher education options in many of the leading sending countries, America needs to continue its proactive steps to insure that our academic doors remain wide open, and that students around the world understand that they will be warmly welcomed."

The Open Doors report is published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the United States. The census is based on a survey of close to 3,000 accredited U.S. institutions.

For more information on the Open Doors 2007 surveys and findings go to

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