The number of international students at American colleges and universities grew by 7.1 percent, to top one million in the 2015-16 academic year, according to the annual Open Doors report released today by the Institute of International Education and produced with funding from the U.S. Department of State.
The report, released amid concerns that the election of Donald Trump to the presidency could negatively impact future enrollments from abroad, records 10 straight years of growth in the number of international students on U.S. campuses. The overall growth picture is positive from the perspective of U.S. higher education, but the report includes a mix of positive and negative signs for the future. First-time enrollments of international students increased by 2.4 percent in fall 2015 over the previous year -- a positive sign -- but enrollments in intensive English programs, a common starting point for international students who ultimately want to pursue degree-level study, fell by 14.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the number of American students studying abroad for academic credit continues to increase, growing by 2.9 percent in the 2014-15 academic year to a grand total of 313,415. IIE estimates that about 10 percent of all American undergraduates, and about 15 percent of those studying for bachelor’s (as opposed to associate) degrees study abroad at some point during their program.