Illinois welcomes second largest international student population in the country; among the top 25 for credit-bearing education abroad opportunities
Urbana-Champaign, Illinois: Nov. 13, 2018—The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign remains one of the top destinations for international students and scholars studying in the United States, according to the annual Open Doors report. Released today by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the report ranks Illinois as second in the nation by international student body in 2017-18 (sixth when accounting for private institutions) and 24th for students participating in credit-bearing education abroad programs in 2016-17.
“At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we are committed to providing our students with truly transformative learning experiences,” said Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies. “Whether these transformative experiences take place on the Urbana-Champaign campus or around the world, we know that when we encourage our students, faculty, and staff to engage collaboratively with diverse experiences and viewpoints, they are better equipped to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.”
The 2018 Open Doors report revealed the following data:
- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is second in the country among public institutions when it comes to its international student and scholar enrollment numbers and sixth in the country overall, welcoming 13,445 international students and scholars (including individuals on Optional Practical Training);
- Illinois is 24th in the country for credit-bearing study abroad participation, with 1,945 students earning credit abroad in 2016-17;
- Engineering, Business and Management, Math and Computer Science, Social Sciences, and Physical and Life Sciences are the major fields of study selected by international students and scholars;
- Students from China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada make up the bulk of all international students in the United States;
- The United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, and Germany were the top host destinations for U.S. students studying abroad;
- International student and scholar numbers on U.S. campuses increased by 1.5 percent and the number of students going abroad has increased by 2.3 percent.
“As a world-class public research institution, we have a responsibility to ensure that our students have the skills and experiences necessary to succeed in today’s global economy,” said Chancellor Robert Jones. “With our large international student population, robust education abroad programming, and cooperative research partnerships, we are proud to offer one of the most comprehensive and diverse learning environments in the world.”
While international students make up only 5.5% of overall U.S. college enrollments, there are many quantitative and qualitative benefits that lead to enhanced learning outcomes for both domestic and international students, faculty, and staff. International students and scholars also bring numerous economic benefits to the state of Illinois. According to a 2016/17 data analysis by NAFSA, international students and scholars contributed more than $1.8 billion to the state of Illinois, which also led to the creation of 24,771 jobs. Higher education institutions in the state of Illinois collectively enroll 52,225 international students and scholars. The contribution to the Urbana-Champaign economy alone totaled $404 million last year.
The Institute of International Education has conducted an annual census of international students in the U.S. since its founding in 1919. Open Doors has been published by the Institute since 1949, and has received support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Department of State since the 1970s. For more on the IIE, visit: http://www.iie.org/en.