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China Passes India as Top Country Sending Students to US

07.14.2011, VOA Education Report, by .

In November, the Institute of International Education in New York published its yearly report on international students in the United States. The report says more than six hundred ninety thousand attended American colleges and universities during the last academic year. That number was a record high. It was an increase of three percent from the year before. But it was mainly the result of heavy growth from one country, China. China passed India as the top country sending students to the United States.The president of the institute, Allan Goodman, says the economic crisis could have limited growth from other countries. The Institute of International Education publishes its report called “Open Doors” with support from the State Department. The latest report is for the academic year that ended this past June. It says China sent more than one hundred twenty-seven thousand students. That was an increase of thirty percent over the previous year. India was the top sending country for eight years. But last year it was in second place, followed by South Korea. Among the top sending countries, Japan showed the greatest decrease — a drop of fifteen percent.For a ninth year, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles reported the largest number of foreign students — nearly eight thousand. The most popular field of study for international students in the United States is business and management, followed by engineering. But the report noted a nine percent decrease for intensive English-language programs. Allan Goodman says the reason may have been the recession. He says English-language training is often the most costly part for students beginning their studies. But Mr. Goodman pointed to an increase in another area: the number of foreign students at the undergraduate level.He says traditionally, study in America has been overwhelmingly at the graduate level. He says that has changed in the past several years. There has been almost an equal interest by families in sending students here for undergraduate education. He believes that is going to continue. There are four thousand accredited colleges and universities. International students make up only about three percent of the total enrollment.What that means, he says, is that there is a lot of room for growth.For VOA Special English I’m Alex Villarreal.

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