International Student Numbers Surpass 1 Million in U.S. According to “Open Doors 2016”
Champaign, Illinois—The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is currently the second most popular public higher education institution for international students, at a time when the international student population in the U.S. is at an all-time high, said a report published today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). In its annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the IIE announced that the number of international students in the U.S. had topped one million during the 2015-16 academic year, a first for the country and proof of the country’s popularity as a destination for students from all over the world. The University of Illinois—which has the largest Chinese student population in the country—has continued to rise in popularity for international students in search of an affordable, world-class education in a welcoming international environment. The university also ranked in the top 25 universities in the country for credit-bearing study abroad participation.
“Illinois has become a global destination for the best and brightest students from around the world at a time in history when international education is absolutely vital to success,” said Dr. Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Vice Provost of International Affairs and Global Strategies at the Urbana-Champaign campus, which has a unit dedicated to all matters related to international education and scholarship. “We believe that the global classroom is one which not only welcomes the top scholarship from around the world but also one which encourages students and faculty to engage with the world, whether on exchanges or through study abroad opportunities. All of these are vital to fostering global competence.”
The 2016 Open Doors data revealed the following facts:
- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is second in the country for public institutions when it comes to its international student enrollment numbers (second to Arizona State University) and fifth in the country overall, when accounting for private schools like NYU and the University of Southern California, which consistently outrank the nation;
- Illinois also ranked 15th in the country for credit-bearing study abroad participation, and
- Students from China, India, and Saudi Arabia make up the bulk of all international students in the United States.
“We are proud to see Illinois once again recognized as a clear leader in international educational opportunities, said newly appointed Chancellor, Robert J. Jones. “Our land-grant mission of educational access and public engagement may be centered in Urbana-Champaign, but the impact of our students, faculty, staff and graduates reaches across the nation and around the globe.”
“The Open Doors findings show that international students value the quality, diversity and strong reputation of U.S. institutions and recognize that these institutions will give them opportunities that can help them not only in their education but also in their careers,” said IIE President Allan Goodman in the press release IIE made public today. “We believe American colleges and universities offer a premiere education and valuable training to students from around the globe and that students from other nations also teach us a lot about the world we share. The more we can open doors to other cultures for our students, the better off our country and our world will be.”
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a long history of being an international destination of higher education, with ties to China in particular that precede most others of its kind. Today it not only operates an office and in-country orientations in China, it also has more Chinese students than anywhere in the country. In addition, its strength in agriculture and the STEM fields continue to attract students from all over the world, including growing numbers from Africa, the Middle East, and the so-called BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). At a time of political and economic uncertainty in Illinois and elsewhere, Open Doors reports that the influx of international students to the United States contributes upwards of $36 billion annually to the US economy.
About Illinois International Programs: Illinois International Programs provides the campus and its partners with the expertise a university requires to be truly world class. From safety and security services to top-tier exchange programs and partnerships, Illinois International is home to all the international activity the Illinois campus is famous for.
Comprised of 17 diverse sub-units and rich in collaborative partnerships throughout the campus and the world, Illinois International is at the crossroads of all international activities undertaken by the Urbana campus. Through its broad range of programs, services, and relationships, Illinois International aims to advance its vision of utilizing its collective expertise to be a global leader in higher education, research, and engagement. With the nation’s second-largest international student population among public universities—and with some of the top academic rankings in the world—Illinois is uniquely situated to be a model of globalized education for the 21st century. Illinois International is guided by the leadership of Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies (VPIAGS).
For more, please see: www.international.illinois.edu
Veerle Opgenhaffen firstname.lastname@example.org: 917-526-1972
Director, Global Communications and Protocol
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign