George Mason, Other Universities See More International Students

According to a new study, the number of international students enrolled at Virginia colleges increased by one percent over the 2010-2011 school year.

George Mason University is one of the Virginia colleges and universities with the highest number of international students, according to a recent study by nonprofit Institute of International Education.

The 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released on Monday, shows nearly 15,170 international students enrolled in state schools in the 2011-12 school year, a one percent increase compared to the 2010-11 school year. The number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities rose six percent to a record 764,495 in 2011-12.

George Mason University had 2,159, the highest number of international students in Northern Virginia. The Annandale campus of The Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College had 1,446 students.

Virginia Tech in Blacksburg had the most in the state with 2,578 students. Other Virginia schools included the University of Virginia in Charlottesville with 2,141 and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond with 1,647.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, the number of international students students rose about 6 percent at Virginia Tech while VCU saw an 8 percent drop, the biggest decrease in the state.

Virginia ranks 14th in the U.S. with institutions in California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Illinois rounding out the top five choices for international students. About 22 percent of international students chose business and management as their field of study. A total of 18.5 percent chose engineering and 9.3 percent chose math and computer science.

According to the report, students from China comprise nearly 19 percent of Virginia’s international student enrollment, followed by India at more than 13 percent, South Korea with about 11 percent, Saudi Arabia with more than 6 percent and Vietnam with 3 percent.

The number of Virginia students studying abroad fell 6 percent to 8,283 in the 2010-11 school year, the report also states.

The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.


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