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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 10, 2004

UI International Student Enrollment Steady In Contrast With National Trend

International student enrollment at the University of Iowa has remained relatively stable, defying the national decline reported in the recently released fall 2003 census, and the UI now has the 42nd largest international student population in the United States, according to figures from UI International Programs' Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

While the national Open Doors report of fall 2003 international student enrollments showed a decline of 2.4 percent nationwide, UI's enrollment of 2,307 was an increase of 1.1 percent from the previous year. Fall 2003 saw the first absolute decline in foreign enrollments since 1971-1972. The Open Doors census differs from the Iowa Board of Regents report in that it includes students in post-graduation training programs in its census of international students.

The number of international graduate and professional students enrolled at the UI in fall 2003 declined six percent to 1,793, whereas nationally, the Open Doors report found there was a minimal increase of 0.4 percent between 2002 and 2003. In contrast, the number of enrolled UI international undergraduate students in fall 2003 was 346, up 31 percent from the previous year, whereas nationally, there was a five percent drop during this period. UI reported 168 students in post-graduation training programs in fall 2003.

Fall 2004 numbers showed a slight overall increase to 2,373 with 351 undergraduate students, 1,822 graduate and professional students, and 200 in post-graduation training period. The national census of fall 2004 figures will be released in November 2005.

"International student numbers at the UI are staying fairly steady. Even though graduate applications from international students dropped considerably in fall 2004, we haven't seen as comparable a drop in numbers," said OISS director Scott King, who explained that stricter U.S. visa requirements may have deterred less determined graduate students from applying to the UI.

At the UI, the five countries with the largest enrollment in fall 2004 are: China, 599 this fall, up from 508 in Fall 2003; Korea, 324, up from 279; India, 311, up from 275; Taiwan, 103, up from 85; and Japan, 97, down from 104. Nationally, India is the leading country of origin followed by China, Korea and Japan, according to the Open Doors report.

The Open Doors report says that international students contribute more than $13 billion to the U.S. economy in money spent on tuition, living expenses, and related costs. Iowa receives over $166 million annually from international students, with UI students contributing more than $43 million.  Nearly 75 percent of all international student funding comes from personal and family sources or other sources outside of the United States. The Department of Commerce ranks U.S. higher education as among the top 10 largest service sector exports.

The Open Doors report is an annual report on international education exchange compiled by the Institute for International Education (IIE), the world's leading research and membership association on international education.

For more information on international students and scholars, contact King at 319-335-0335. Information on the Open Doors report can be found at

For more information on international student numbers at the UI, visit and click on the International Student Profile Fall 2004, which is a downloadable PDF file.

OISS is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of International Programs (IP), these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; International Students: Scott King, 319-335-0335; Writer: Po Li Loo