According to new Open Doors data, new enrollments “soared” by 80% year over year, indicating a strong near-return to pre-pandemic levels for the total number of international students in the US.
The figures for the 2021/22 academic year, which was released on November 14th, showed early signs of a full-force recovery with a 3.8% increase over the totals from the previous year: 948,519 up from 914,095 in the 2020/21 academic year.
Notably, enrollment growth among overseas students is being recorded at all academic levels. This includes a 2% increase in undergraduate enrollment and an additional considerable gain of 18% in graduate enrollment, according to Martel.According to NAFSA’s analysis of Open Doors statistics, international students are spending $33.8 billion more than they did a year ago, which is an increase of over $10 billion.
The substantial decrease of students from China across both undergraduate and OPT programs—down by 13% and 22%, respectively—was one of the most striking findings from the Open Doors statistics. It continued to be the largest source country, but the totals decreased by 9% from the previous year, with the exception of a 4% increase in graduate enrollments.
Ethan Rosenzweig, deputy assistant secretary for academic programmes at the US Department of State’s department of educational and cultural affairs, emphasized that despite the numbers, China remained a top destination for hiring.