Study: Number of Foreign-Born University Students in Idaho Grows by 40 Percent


Foreign-born student enrollment at American universities jumped 6 percent in the 2011-12 academic year to hit a record 764,495 students, according to a report released this morning from the Institute of International Education.

The study indicates that the number of foreign-born students in Idaho has grown a whopping 40 percent since the last report, issued in 2011. BYU-Idaho registered the highest number of foreign students: 797, followed by the University of Idaho: 670, Idaho State University: 590, and Boise State: 543.

The leading place of origin for foreign university students in Idaho is Saudi Arabia, representing 16.8 percent, followed by Canada: 12.7 percent, South Korea: 7.5 percent, and China: 5,8 percent.

The top five "student exporters" to the U.S., according to the IIE’s latest annual “Open Doors” report on international study: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Currently, one out of every four foreign college students is from China. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the increase in Chinese student enrollment, much of which is occurring at the undergraduate level, reflects the growing ability of Chinese families to foot the bill for an overseas college education.

While California drew the most international students, researchers found a growing number of students made their way to the Midwest, with colleges in Indiana enrolling 10 percent more foreign students than the year before, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The five colleges that enrolled the most foreign students were the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York University, Purdue University's main campus, and Columbia University.