STEM Education / Career Development

Study: Interest in STEM fuels growth in number of international students in United States

By Kelly Mae Ross, for U.S. News & World Report

Nov 14, 2016

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For the first time ever, U.S. colleges, universities and employers hosted more than a million international students in a single academic year, according to a report released today.

In 2015-2016, there were more than 1 million international students in the U.S. pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, nondegree studies, such as intensive English programs, and practical training, per the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, an annual survey from the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

This is an increase of 7.1 percent from the previous year. Over the last decade, the overall number of international students in the U.S. has grown nearly 85 percent.

Some of the most popular areas of study are those related to science, technology, engineering and math fields – collectively known as STEM. For example, more than one-third of all international students in the U.S. in 2015-2016 were studying engineering or math and computer science, the report shows.

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