Purdue's international student population ranks 2nd for public schools

November 12, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University continues to have the second-largest international student population among U.S. public universities and is fourth overall, according to a report released Monday (Nov. 12) by the Institute of International Education.

"Purdue is well-known internationally as a premiere education destination, and this global aspect of our university continues to attract American students, too," said Purdue acting President Timothy Sands. "This diversity offers Purdue students real-world experience right on our campus through classes and student activities that prepare them for the global workforce.

"The large number of international students also creates a rich, global alumni network that students can benefit from while on campus or after graduation."

The 2012 Open Doors report is based on the 2011-12 academic year, and it reports Purdue had 8,563 international students. This number is larger than Purdue's reported 7,934 for Fall 2011 because the institute includes recent graduates who are still affiliated with their universities.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranked first among U.S. public institutions with 8,997 international students. A private school, the University of Southern California, ranked first on the overall list, and New York University, also private, ranked third.

Purdue also has the largest number of undergraduate international students at 4,406, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is second with 3,768.

Nationally, the number of international students attending American universities and colleges increased 6 percent from 723,277 in the previous report to 764,495. This is the sixth year that the number of international students studying in the United States has increased.

The state of Indiana also saw a 10 percent increase from 20,112 to 22,194. Indiana University is ranked 11th on the Open Doors overall list with 6,123 international students.

"In addition to the cultural and diversity experiences international students bring to our communities, they also support our local economies," said Michael Brzezinski, dean of international programs.

According to Open Doors, international students contributed $22.7 billion to the U. S. economy.

Some Purdue international students also are active community volunteers through the Boiler Out! Program, which is coordinated by the Office of International Students and Scholars in International Programs. Last spring, nearly 100 Purdue international students spent part of their spring break helping in southern Indiana with clean-up activities following a tornado.

This fall, Purdue reported an increase of 628 international students, bringing the current number to 8,562. These students represent 123 countries with 3,934 from China, 1,309 from India and 832 from the Republic of Korea. China has the most international students studying in the United States.

The Open Doors report is published in partnership with the U.S. 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. The report was released as part of this week's International Education Week.

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

Sources: Timothy Sands, president@purdue.edu

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

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