Purdue's international student population ranks among highest in United States

November 14, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University has the second-largest international student population among U.S. public universities and is fourth overall, according to the 2011 Open Doors report released Monday (Nov. 14) by the Institute of International Education.

"One of Purdue's strengths is the global experience that students can enjoy every day, whether it's during class or by participating in campus activities," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "Purdue's reputation is synonymous with global engagement, and this gives our graduates an edge in today's competitive workplace. On a more personal level, some in-state students have not yet had the opportunity to travel abroad, so this diverse environment helps them grow in global awareness."

The Institute of International Education's Open Doors 2011 report is based on the 2010-11 academic year. The institute reported that Purdue had 7,562 international students in 2010-11. That number is larger than Purdue's reported 6,761 because the institute includes recent graduates who are still affiliated with their universities, and it reflects international student reporting guidelines that changed after 9/11.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranked first among U.S. public institutions. The University of Southern California and New York University, both private institutions, ranked first and third on the overall list.

Open Doors 2011 reported that during the 2010-11 academic year, 723,277 international students were enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, which is a 5 percent increase from the previous year. It also represents the fifth consecutive record number of international students in the United States. Purdue's enrollment increased 13 percent from the 2009-10 to the 2010-11 academic year.

"With its high international ranking and broad-based alumni network, Purdue is a first-choice destination for many international students, attracting a growing number of undergraduate students from Asia, particularly China," said Michael Brzezinski, dean of international programs. "Our international students enhance campus life by bringing the global experience to our campus."

This fall, Purdue has reported 7,934 international students from 123 countries. Over the past two years, the top three countries represented are China, India and South Korea. The largest group of international students, both in the United States and at Purdue, is from China.

Open Doors 2011 also reports that international students contribute more than $21 billion to the U.S. economy from tuition and living expenses, such as room and board, transportation, health insurance, and books and supplies. Last year, Purdue's international student economic impact was $191 million for the local community, while the state of Indiana's economy was boosted by $595.6 million from the more than 20,000 international students enrolled at all the state's colleges and universities. Indiana University was 11th on the Open Doors list with 5,471 international students.

Brzezinski said Purdue's international students also contribute to the local community with hundreds of hours of volunteer work through the Boiler Out! Program, which is coordinated by the Office of International Students and Scholars in International Programs.

The New York-based Institute of International Education publishes Open Doors with support from the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The survey includes almost 3,000 accredited U.S. institutions and has been conducted annually since 1949.

Writer:  Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu 

Sources:   France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu

                    Michael Brzezinski, 765-496-6085, mbrzezinski@purdue.edu 

Related website:

Open Doors 2011: International Student Enrollment increased by 5 percent in 2010-11