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2009 Statistical highlights

Analyzing International Enrollments at MSU

The 5,056 international students in fall 2009 is an increase of twelve percent over the total from a year ago. What is striking about this figure is that this is the first year in MSU’s history that the international undergraduate students have outnumbered graduate students, 2,636 compared to 2,420. This is directly related to the dramatic rise in the numbers of undergraduates from China. In fact, there are a number of storylines in this year’s international enrollments at MSU, but the growth of students from China is the dominant trend. There are a number of reasons for this growth including China’s growing middle class, insufficient higher education capacity to meet the country’s needs and the liberalized U.S. visa policies.

In contrast to the growth of Chinese student enrollments has been the sharp decline in the number of students from Korea. The decline from 951 a year ago to 810 in fall 2009 is significant and should be largely attributed to economic factors. The number of students from Japan also continues to decline. This decline has been a trend over the past five years and is most notable at the graduate level. Countries with solid, but comparatively flat, enrollments from a year ago include India, Canada, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Mexico and Turkey.
The Colleges of Business (1,382), Engineering (729), Natural Science (709), Agriculture and Natural Resources (499), and Social Science (462) currently enroll the largest numbers of international students at MSU. Enrollment in the College of Business has grown 29.8% over the fall 2008.

Another area of strength is the rise in the number of sponsored students. There are more than 450 international students at MSU who are sponsored by their governments, the U.S. government, international exchange or other organizations. This is a reflection of MSU’s strong reputation abroad and the professional services that MSU provides to meet the unique needs of sponsored students.

Visiting Scholars

OISS supports MSU academic departments who host international researchers, teachers and faculty with a variety of services. In addition to the record number of students, there were 1,019 visiting international faculty at MSU in the past year.

Economic Impact on the Local Economy

According to the Institute of International Education’s estimated economic impact formula, MSU’s international community contributed an estimated $150 million to the local economy.

International Students

By Country, Gender, and Level (PDF)*

By Regional Trend (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Africa (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Asia (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Europe (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Latin America (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Middle East (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - North America (PDF)*
By Country of Origin - Oceania (PDF)*

By College/Enrollment Trend (PDF)*
By Major and Level of Study (PDF)*
By Fall Semester Enrollment (PDF)*

Sponsored Students

By Country (PDF)*

International Scholars

By Country (PDF)*



Data provided by the Office of the Registrar, Michigan State University and the 2009 Open Doors Report, Institute of International Education

*Adobe Acrobat Reader Opens in new window is required to read PDF documents.

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