US welcomes over 1M international students: Open Doors 2023 report

The 2022-23 academic year witnessed a record-breaking 14 percent year-over-year increase in new international student enrollment in the United States, totaling 298,523 and surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

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The United States hosted more than 1 million international students during the 2022-23 academic year, marking a rapid 12 percent increase from the previous year — the highest growth rate in over 40 years, the Open Doors 2023 Report revealed.

Released by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education, the report serves as a crucial annual benchmark providing insights into the state of international educational exchange and student mobility.

International students now constitute 6 percent of the total U.S. higher education population, contributing nearly $38 billion to the U.S. economy, as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Enrollment of new international students at U.S. colleges and universities for the 2022-23 academic year reached near-record levels, surpassing pre-pandemic figures.

Experiencing a 14 percent year-over-year boost, the figure surged to 298,523, following an impressive 80 percent upswing from the previous year.

The growth was observed across all U.S. states and territories, with 48 states reporting an increase in international student numbers.

Allan E. Goodman, IIE CEO, stated that the presence of over 1 million international students studying in the U.S. indicates a robust recovery, with the figure nearing pre-pandemic levels.

“This reinforces that the U.S. remains the destination of choice for international students wishing to study abroad, as it has been for more than a century,” Goodman said.

He also mentioned that the report illustrates the resilience of international education, underscoring its role in fostering global innovation, collaboration, and peace for universities and countries alike.

Lead countries

China maintained its position as the top-sending country with 289,526 students studying in the U.S., while India reached an all-time high of 268,923 international students in 2022-2023, marking a 35 percent year-over-year increase.

Most places of origin experienced an increase in international student numbers. These places include Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Italy, Nepal, Pakistan, and Spain, which reached all-time highs.

Sub-Saharan Africa saw the highest regional growth, with Ghana entering the top 25 places of origin for the first time.

International study rebounds

The Open Doors 2023 Report unveiled a resurgence in U.S. international study programs, surpassing the halfway mark of pre-pandemic levels in the 2021-22 academic year, with 188,753 students engaging in overseas opportunities for academic credit.

Primary destinations included Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. The trend is expected to continue, as 83 percent of U.S. institutions anticipate an increase in study abroad totals for the 2022-23 academic year and beyond.

U.S. higher education institutions also reported an 8 percent increase in international students for the Fall 2023 semester, with growth across all academic levels and Optional Practical Training.

India remains a top priority for undergraduate and graduate recruitment, with 70 percent of institutions prioritizing undergraduate outreach and 80 percent prioritizing graduate outreach for Indian students.

The Fall 2023 International Student Enrollment Snapshot drew participation from a robust count of over 630 U.S. higher education institutions.

“International education is a vehicle that promotes peace and cross-cultural connections and provides the tools necessary to address the shared challenges of our time,” said Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Lee Satterfield.

Open Doors is a comprehensive resource that tracks international students placed in U.S. higher education institutions and U.S. students engaging in academic credit programs abroad.

International Education Week

The Open Doors 2023 Report was released to kick off International Education Week — a collaboration by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange on a global scale.

The joint effort signifies their commitment to promoting programs that equip Americans for a global environment and attract prospective leaders from abroad to participate in study, learning, and shared experiences.

The IEW theme for this year, “International Education Is the Future,” delves into the various ways in which international education is steering the world towards the future.

“Educational exchanges bring new perspectives to our classrooms and our campuses, and expose people around the world to the United States and our values,” said U.S Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a video statement.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that the U.S. is becoming more diverse, and the global economy more interconnected.

He said that it is essential to raise the bar and provide all students with the opportunities to acquire multilingual skills and cultural competencies.

“It’s a time to promote the benefits of international education and highlight U. S. government programs that expand access to global experiences,” Cardona said. He added that “global engagement” boosts the quality of education and student success in the States.

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos has been a professional journalist for five years now. She has contributed and covered stories for premier Philippine dailies and publications, and has traveled to different parts of the country to capture and tell the most significant stories happening.

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Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos

Jaleen Ramos has been a professional journalist for five years now. She has contributed and covered stories for premier Philippine dailies and publications, and has traveled to different parts of the country to capture and tell the most significant stories happening.

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