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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 17, 2008

UI international student numbers hit all-time high, study abroad increases

International student enrollment at the University of Iowa has reached an all-time high, increasing by 10.5 percent in fall 2008 to 2,379 -- 226 students more than in fall 2007 -- with 576 undergraduates, 1,615 graduate and professional students and 188 students in the post-graduation training period. The UI numbers are released today, Monday, Nov. 17, in conjunction with the Open Doors Report published annually by the Institute of International Education. (IIE).

The UI's increase in international student enrollment was, in part, the result of an international recruiting effort initiated in fall 2007 by the UI Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), Office of Admissions and English as a Second Language Program (ESL). The recruiting campaign covered the Middle East, India, East and Southeast Asia and Brazil, with the first three countries and regions showing a marked increase in enrollment this fall, including 126 students from the Middle East -- 24.7 percent more than last fall -- and 16.9 percent and 8.8 percent increases from India and East and Southeast Asia, respectively.

"It's refreshing to see a reversal in our trend of declining international student enrollments, particularly with such a significant increase at the undergraduate level," said Scott King, director of OISS. "This growing community reflects the university's strengthened commitment to internationalization. While increasing participation in study abroad continues to be a focus, our significant international student population also contributes to the global education of all UI students."

International student enrollment at colleges and universities in the U.S. increased by 7 percent to 623,805 in 2007-08. The 2007-08 growth builds on a 3 percent increase reported for 2006-07. The total number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities now exceeds by 6 percent the previous all-time high of 586,323 reported in 2002-03, according to the Open Doors report, released today, Monday, Nov. 17 by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The report also showed that the enrollment of new international students, who enrolled for the first time at a U.S. college or university in fall 2007 also increased. New international student enrollments rose by 10 percent, following on increases of 10 percent and 8 percent for the previous two years.

IIE will release the national comparisons for fall 2008 international student figures in its November 2009 Open Doors report.

The UI's Fall 2008 international student population originates from 119 countries and territories, six more countries than in fall 2007. The top five countries with the largest enrollment in fall 2008 are China with 627 students, up from 537; India with 373 students, up from 319; South Korea with 318 students, down from 321; Taiwan with 118 students, up from 117; and Japan with 69 students, up from 67. The top five places of origin of international students studying in the United States in 2007-08 were India, China, South Korea, Japan and Canada.

International students contribute more than $15.5 billion to the U.S. economy in money spent on tuition, living expenses and related costs, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. In 2007-08, the state of Iowa received more than $181 million from international students, with UI students contributing nearly $37.9 million. Nearly 61.5 percent of all international students reported their primary source of funding coming from personal and family sources or other sources outside the United States.

The fall 2008 UI Profile of International Students and Scholars, as well as past profiles, can be found at

The total number of UI students studying abroad continues to increase as well. During 2006-07, the most recent year for which data are available, 1,157 students studied overseas -- a 4.9 percent increase from 2005-06. Of those students, 801 were undergraduates, or 3.9 percent of the total UI undergraduate population and a 10.2 percent increase in UI undergraduates studying abroad from 2005-06. The total number also included 356 graduate and professional students, a decrease of 5.3 percent.

UI undergraduates studied abroad in 55 countries in 2006-07, with the top five destinations of Spain (129), the United Kingdom (118), Italy (88), Germany (46) and Australia (41). Graduate and professional students studied in 59 countries. The top five host destinations for American students in 2006-07 were the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France and China. In comparison, the top five destinations for UI students in 2005-06 were the United Kingdom (120), Spain (107), France (106), Italy (100) and China (82).

The IIE will release the national study abroad comparisons for 2007-08 in the November 2009 Open Doors report. The 2006-07 UI Study Abroad statistics can be found at The UI's 2007-2008 statistics will be available soon.

The Open Doors report is an annual publication on international education exchange compiled by the IIE, the world's leading research and membership association on international education, with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

For more information on international students and scholars contact King at 319-335-0335. For more information about study abroad contact Janis Perkins at 319-335-0353. Information on the 2008 Open Doors report can be found at

The Office for Study Abroad and OISS are part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kelli Andresen, International Programs, 319-335-2026,; Scott King, Office of International Students and Scholars, 319-335-0335,; Janis Perkins, UI Office for Study Abroad, 319-335-0353,; Lois Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Writer: Lini Ge