ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan was ranked No. 8 nationally for the size of its international student body in 2010-11, according to a study showing foreign enrollments grew 5 percent nationwide to a record 723,277.
U-M had a total 5,595 foreign students, according to the Open Doors survey by the Institute of International Education.
The strong showing by U-M in the report highlights an important part of the university's global mission. The school not only encourages students and faculty to go abroad and explore the world, it also strives to bring the world to U-M by attracting talented students from overseas.
"Students from other countries make a major contribution to the international character of the university. They bring information, insight and perspective both from and about other societies and cultures," said Mark Tessler, vice-provost for International Affairs.
"The university greatly values the role played by international students in building a diverse campus community and in preparing all of our students to succeed as citizens, workers and leaders in a global environment," Tessler said.
The University of Southern California topped the list with 8,615 foreign students, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (7,991) was No. 2 and New York University (7,988) was No. 3, the study said.
The report is published annually by the independent, not-for-profit IIE in partnership with the U.S. Department of State.
Although U-M's ranking varies from year to year, having been sixth last year, the university is consistently in the top ten and among the most sought-after destination for international students seeking to study at a leading American university.
In the fall 2011 semester, students from mainland China made up 31.2 percent, or 1,747, of U-M's total international student body, according to the Office of the Registrar. The second biggest group was from India, with 752 or 13.4 percent. South Korea makes up 12 percent of the total with 687 students, while Taiwan has 5 percent with 287 and Canada has 4 percent with 244.
The Open Doors report said international students are responsible for a significant economic impact on the U.S. They contribute more than $21 billion to the U.S. economy, through spending on tuition and living expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.