India is Top Source of International Students to the United States

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Photo by mckaysavage/FlckerNov. 17 – India has maintained its position as the top source of international students to America for the eighth consecutive year, with a record 103,260 students enrolled in various U.S. universities for the year 2008-09.

According to the Open Doors report, released today by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 8 percent to an all-time high of 671,616 for the 2008-09 academic year.

This is believed to be partially due to professionals returning to school while the short-term prospects or employment remain diminished in the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

The 8 percent increase in international student numbers is the largest increase reported since 1980-81 and marks the third year of significant growth. India has again surpassed China as the leading place of origin for international students in the United States, however, while Indian student enrollment increased by 9 percent from last year, the number of Chinese applicants shot up by 21 percent.

In the meantime, South Korean enrollment is up by 9 percent. Open Doors 2009 reports that the number of new international students – those enrolled for the first time at a U.S. college or university for Fall 2008 increased by 16 percent.