International student numbers rise in US

New figures show that there are nearly 1.2 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) visas studying in the United States.

The latest Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) by the Numbers, a quarterly report on international student trends prepared by the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP), shows that international student enrolment at US schools increased by 6.2 per cent compared to March 2015.

The majority of international students in the US (77 per cent) of all international students came from Asia. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students are: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico.

The data also shows that 40 per cent of international students studying in the United States approximately 479,000 individuals) were enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses.

Among US schools, New York University, the University of Southern California, Northeastern University, Columbia University, and the University of Illinois rank one through five for schools with the highest international student populations. More than 10,000 international students were enrolled at each of these five schools in March.

The SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programmes that enrol these students. The US Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.

Both use SEVIS to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with US laws.

Article by David Fuller