Chinese leading the surge in foreign students in the US: Trends and figures

The United States saw an 8 per cent annual increase in the number of international students enrolled in its schools, with Asian students making up 64 per cent of the total, according to the "Open Doors" report released by the Institute of Internation
The United States saw an 8 per cent annual increase in the number of international students enrolled in its schools, with Asian students making up 64 per cent of the total, according to the "Open Doors" report released by the Institute of International Education and the US State Department. -- PHOTO: KELLY BLESSING/BLOOMBERG

The United States saw an 8 per cent annual increase in the number of international students enrolled in its schools, with Asian students making up 64 per cent of the total, according to the "Open Doors" report released by the Institute of International Education and the US State Department.

Here are some interesting statistics from the report:

1. Half of the foreign students came from China, India and South Korea, the top three countries of origin.

2. Chinese students made up 31 per cent of the students - the largest proportion. There are now 274,439 students in the US from the East Asian country, a 16.5 per cent surge from last year. Another 8,656 came from special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau.

3. Second-ranked India had 102,673 students studying in the US, a 6.1 per cent rise from the year before.

4. Third-ranked South Korea saw a slight decline of 3.7 per cent, but still sent 68,047 students to America's shores.

5. In South-east Asia, the country with largest share of students within the US was Vietnam, with 16,579 enrolled. There was a marked increase of about 9 per cent in the number of students from Myanmar, although the numbers were still small at 1,042.

6. Singaporeans studying in the US numbered 4,592, a small 0.7 per cent increase from the last academic year.

7. The most popular courses of study were business management (188,179), and engineering (170,189). The year saw an unusual spike in the number of students opting for Visual and Performing Arts courses at 39,090 - a 2.5-fold increase from the year before.

8. International students contributed US$27 billion (S$35 billion) to the US economy in 2013/2014, the report said. Of that amount, 65 per cent were funded by the students and their families.

9. New York University was the institution with the largest number of foreign students with 11,164. The University of Southern California came next with 10,932.

10. California, New York and Texas hosted the most number of foreign students.

chuimin@sph.com.sg