Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, November 19, 2010

U-M attracting international students, more are studying abroad

U-M attracted 6,095 international students to the state in 2009-10, the sixth-highest total of any U.S. university, according to an Institute of International Education report showing international enrollments nationwide grew to a record 690,923.

The University of Southern California had the largest number of international students (7,987) followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (7,287), New York University (7,276), Purdue University (6,903), Columbia University (6,833) and U-M, according to the Open Doors ’10 report. The reports are based on federally required counts of currently enrolled foreign students, as well as those recently enrolled who are 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 10 for both international enrollment as well as study-abroad programs. MSU ranked second in the nation for sending the most students abroad (2,610) during 2008-09, while U-M ranked 10th, with 2,116. For international enrollments, MSU ranked eighth in the nation with 5,358 students.

“U-M’s worldwide reputation for academic excellence continues to draw students from abroad to our highly ranked degree programs, and our domestic students in ever increasing numbers are participating in study, research, internships, and service programs abroad to prepare for careers in today’s global economy,’’ says John Greisberger, director of the International Center. “These two key measures of campus internationalization confirm that U-M truly is a world class university.”

After 25 straight years of growth, the number of U.S. students choosing to study abroad declined slightly, by less than 1 percent, falling overall as the U.S. economy went into recession, although U-M’s numbers grew from 1,969 to 2,116. Overall, the number of U.S. college students studying abroad is four times the number of students participating in study-abroad programs 20 years earlier.

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 Duke University study.