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Updated 10:00 AM November 24, 2008




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U-M ranks sixth nationally in international students

The University attracted 5,748 international students to the state in 2007-08, the sixth highest total in the nation, according to an Institute of International Education report showing international enrollment at all-time high nationwide.

A record 623,805 international students contributed $15 billion to the U.S. economy, up 7 percent from the year before. In Michigan, the report found 22,967 international students contributed $525.5 million to the state's economy last year.

Nationally, the University of Southern California had the largest number of international students (7,189) followed by New York University, Columbia University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University and U-M, according to the Open Doors '08 report.

"The University of Michigan is committed to offering our students a diverse educational experience," says Mark Tessler, vice provost for international affairs and director of the International Institute. "By welcoming international students to our campus and by encouraging our students to take advantage of education abroad opportunities, Michigan helps facilitate a cross-cultural dialogue that enriches the academic environment and broadens students' understanding of the world."

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, both in the top 15 for international enrollment and study abroad programs. MSU attracted 4,244 international students, a 7-percent increase from the year before. International students accounted for 14 percent of U-M's total enrollment and 9 percent of the total enrollment at MSU. MSU ranked second in the nation for sending the most students abroad (2,801) while U-M ranked 6th, with 2,055.

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 1995-2005 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 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.

"In today's competitive international environment, the increase in enrollments noted in this year's Open Doors data demonstrates again that the U.S. remains the premier destination for international students," says Goli Ameri, assistant secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

IIE President Allan Goodman adds: "The steady increase in the number of international students in the United States reflects actions taken by the U.S. government and many individual colleges and universities to ensure that international students know they are welcome here, and that we appreciate how they contribute to the intellectual and cultural environment on campus and in the wider community."

For more information on the Open Doors 2008 surveys and findings go to

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