International Student Enrollment Up 2% at US Schools, 75% of Students From Asia

As of April 1, almost 1.02 million international students were enrolled in nearly 9,000 US schools using an F (academic) or M (vocational) visa, marking a two percent increase from January.

Seventy-five percent of all international students were from Asia, with 29 percent from China. Saudi Arabia and India had the greatest percentage increase of students studying in the United States at 10 and eight percent, respectively, when compared to January statistics. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil.

The figures are contained in “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States. The report is based on data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-based system that includes information on international students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are in the United States.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is run by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.

Both agencies use SEVIS to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with US laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.

HSI reviews potential SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with potential national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. Additionally, SEVP’s Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.

The April report included key insight into which international students pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) coursework. Sixty-seven percent of international students studying STEM fields were male. Forty-three percent of all international STEM students studied engineering. Seventy-eight percent of international students fromIndia studied STEM fields, while only eight percent of international students from Japan studied STEM fields.

Other key points from the report include: 77 percent of SEVP-certified schools had between zero and 50 international students; 72 percent of international students were enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs; and California, New York and Florida had the most SEVP-certified schools. A school must be SEVP-certified before it can enroll international students.

Report data was extracted from SEVIS April 1. It provides a point in time snapshot of data related to international students studying in the United States. Data for the previous “SEVIS by the Numbers” was extracted from SEVIS Jan. 15.

Learn more about SEVP at www.ICE.gov/SEVP.

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