MSU, UM are top in nation for attracting international students
Michigan State University and University of Michigan continue to be global communities, ranking top in the nation for attracting the most international students to their campuses, and sending the most students to study abroad, according to a report to be released Monday.
The two universities helped to make Michigan ninth in the United States for hosting international college students in 2014-15, with 32,015 international students in the state — an increase of 8 percent from the year before, according to Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.
Of the total number of students, MSU and UM attracted nearly half of the state’s international students, with 8,146 students attending MSU and 7,423 enrolled at UM — ranking MSU at No. 9 nationally, and UM at No. 13.
Meanwhile, UM ranked No. 5 among the nation’s top schools for sending 2,719 students to study abroad while MSU ranked No. 8 with 2,478 students studying overseas.
“Being in the top 10 for both Open Doors categories shows how MSU students are taking advantage of international education opportunities,” said Inge Steglitz, acting director of MSU’s Office of Study Abroad. “Domestic students are studying abroad outside the U.S. and students from abroad are undertaking international learning experiences by coming here to East Lansing. If you combine those two student populations, we’re talking about 10,000 MSU students engaged in international learning activities. That’s something in which all Spartans can take pride.”
James Holloway, UM vice provost for global and engaged learning, added: “UM is transforming its educational environment so that every student can have a high-impact engaged learning experience. The growth in education abroad provides us with another means to achieve this goal. Our schools and colleges have done tremendous work to grow our capacity to deliver these programs. We have also seen increasing numbers of students designing their own educational experiences abroad.”
The report comes as the number of international students in the U.S. has the highest rate of growth in 35 years, increasing by 10 percent to a record high of 974,926 students. Thirty-one percent of students hailed from China, followed by India (13.6 percent), South Korea (6.5 percent) and Saudi Arabi (6.1 percent).
Experts say international students contributed more than $30 billion to the economy in 2014.
“We are excited to see that record numbers of students are taking advantage of international education opportunities, and we applaud the efforts of U.S. higher education as we work together to increase the number of American students who study abroad,” said Evan Ryan, assistant secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “It is critical that we continue to make study abroad more accessible. These exchanges strengthen ties between the United States and countries around the world. By increasing accessibility to study abroad, we are investing in our future and providing a forum to solve global challenges.”