Destination USA for students

February 3, 1995

Overseas students are still flocking to the United States. Universities and colleges admitted an all-time high of almost 450,000 in the academic year 1993/94, but the rate of increase is slowing down.

These figures come in the annual survey published by the Institute of International Education in New York. A total of 449,749 overseas students going to study in the US represents a 2.5 per cent increase over the previous year. In 1992/93, the rate of increase was 4.5 per cent.

Richard Krasno, president of IIE, said: "With the United States linked ever more tightly into the international economy, we all need to encourage and support the exchange of students and the greater understanding these experiences bring to the participants.

"Given the large number of foreign students coming to the United States, the urgency of increasing US student flows abroad is clear."

The number of European students choosing to study in America continues to grow, according to the report, while numbers from Asia have begun to drop off. Asian students still make up the biggest proportion of all overseas students (58 per cent) but growth has fallen to 1.5 per cent compared to 7 per cent a year in recent years.

Most of this decline is attributed to a fall-off in the numbers coming from China, but the growth in numbers from Japan has also slowed down. The rate of increase among Asians is lower than the world average rate of increase for the first time in more than 20 years.

By contrast, the number of Europeans is increasing by about 8 per cent a year. Europeans are the second largest foreign group in the US. Numbers coming from the former Soviet bloc are small, but increasing dramatically.

Numbers coming from the Middle East fell, and numbers from sub-Saharan Africa remained flat. But numbers from Canada and Latin America grew making students from Latin America the third largest group.

The number of women overseas students continued to increase.

The most popular places were New York and California, and the most popular subjects were still business and engineering, though their popularity is on the wane. Surprising numbers are choosing to study education, health and social sciences, and fine art.

"Open Doors 1993-94", $39.95 plus $4 handling from IIE Books, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017-3580.

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