Number of International Students in US Increases Again After a Drop During Pandemic

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The number of international students in the United States has increased again by 4 percent in the 2021/22 academic year after dropping during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the annual Open Doors 2022 report published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in cooperation with the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

In 2021/22, 948,519 students from more than 200 countries enrolled at US universities and colleges. Differently, a year earlier, specifically in the 2020/21 academic year, there were 914,095 international students in the United States, Erudera.com reports.

“We are thrilled to see international student numbers on the rise, and to see the United States maintain its global leadership as the top destination of choice for international students U.S. colleges and universities are places of inspiration, innovation, and opportunity – providing the skills and networks necessary to solve global challenges,” Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Lee Satterfield, after the publication of survey results.

The report shows that China and India continue to be the top countries sending most international students to the United States, representing 52 percent of all international student population in the US during the 2021/22 academic year.

China has sent a total of 290,086 students to the country, whereas India sent 199,182 international students., an increase of 19 percent annually. Other countries of origin for international students in the US include Canada, Mexico, and Nigeria. The report has also revealed that the number of students pursuing Optional Practical Training (OPT) stood at 184,000.

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On the other hand, the number of students from US institutions pursuing studies abroad during the past summer increased by 523 percent.

IIE’s Spring 2022 Snapshot indicates that 83 percent of institutions in the US reported an increase in the number of individuals going to study abroad for the 2022/23 academic year, compared to the previous year.

“As study abroad reemerges for American students, the Biden Administration is expanding the tools available to students to provide greater affordability and accessibility for all students to ensure it reflects the rich diversity of the United States,” Satterfield stressed.

In 2021, international students contributed $32 billion to the US economy 2021, according to the US Department of Commerce.

According to the Open Doors 2021 report, in the 2020/21 academic year, the US higher education institutions saw a decrease of 15 percent in international students compared to a year earlier when the US was home to a total of 1,075,496 international students.

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