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International Enrollment Rebounds at U.S. Universities


students in a computer science class at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering

Math and computer science surpassed engineering as the primary field of study for international students last year.

Credit: Yana Paskova / The New York Times

International student enrollment at U.S. universities bounced back last year after a steep pandemic-fueled decline, according to the 2022 Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education. The total number of international students in the U.S. increased by 4 percent in the 2021–22 academic year, following a 15 percent drop in 2020–21

International graduate students saw the largest rebound, rising by 17 percent. Last year marked the first time in a decade that international graduate students outnumbered undergraduates. The report also found that math and computer science surpassed engineering as the primary field of study for international students.

Chinese student enrollment continued to fall in 2021–22, dropping 9 percent overall. Even so, China remains by far the top source of international students for U.S. institutions. India, the No. 2 source, saw a 19 percent jump in U.S.-bound students.

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