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2011 Statistical highlights

Analyzing International Enrollments at MSU

International Students

The 5,898 international students in fall 2011 is an increase of 10.2% over the total from a year ago. Undergraduates continue to top graduate students: 3,341 compared to 2,166 graduate students. The trend of rising numbers of undergraduates from China is at the heart of these figures. 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. Other countries with increased enrollment include Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. In contrast to the growth of Chinese student enrollments has been the decline in the number of students from Korea, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Libya. Countries with solid, but comparatively flat, enrollments from a year ago include Canada, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Pakistan, Brazil and Kenya.

The Colleges of Business (1,807), Engineering (859), Natural Science (711), Social Science (589), and Agriculture and Natural Resources (535) currently enroll the largest numbers of international students at MSU. Another area of strength is the rise in the number of sponsored students. There are nearly 560 international students at MSU who are sponsored by their governments, the U.S. government, 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 1,104 visiting international scholars 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 contributes an estimated $175 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/By Sponsor (PDF)*

International Scholars:

By Country (PDF)*

Statistical Summary:



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

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

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