aurora network logo

More foreign students in the US and world wide

VU International News and Reviews No. 19 December 9 2013

December 2013

The “Open doors” publication on November 2013 shows a continued growth (of 7,2%) of foreign students in the US, with almost 50% coming from only three countries: China (29%), India (12%), and Korea (9%) and slightly more students going for undergraduate degrees than for graduate programmes. Almost 70% of all foreign students go to a mere 5% of American HE institutions. Leading subjects are Business (22%), Engineering (19%), and Computer studies (9%). Almost 2/3rds of the students get funded from personal and family funds, over 20% are funded by the US government or the host university.

With 3,4% to over 280 000 students in 2011/12, increase in Study Abroad for American students is much slower than that of foreign students in the US. Top destination countries are the UK, Italy, Spain, France, and China, with more than 14 000 US students each. Europe is still by far the most popular destination with 53%, followed at a distance by Latin America & Caribbean with 16% and Asia with 12%. Biggest relative increases in US Study Abroad are seen in Japan (+28%), Brazil (+17%), and Denmark (+16%). Most popular subjects are the social sciences, the STEM subjects and Business. Together accounting for over 2/3rds of the total. Also over 2/3rds of study abroad periods are 8 weeks or shorter, periods of one year are down to less than 10%.

We will have to wait a few years to see the impact of the VU Summer School on these numbers.

Globally the number of international students has been growing from 0.8 million in 1975 to 4.3 million in 2011; further growth to 8 million international students is projected for 2025. The fastest growing receiving country in China with > 12% and ranking 3rd in absolute foreign student numbers (328,330) behind the US and the UK. In terms of percentage of overall enrolment, Australia tops the bull with > 26% of all students being foreign.

Open doors Briefing report available through

Back to newsletters