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Foreign student registration still rising, but more slowly

STANFORD -- International student registration continues to rise at Stanford, but more slowly than in previous years, according to new figures released by Stanford's Bechtel International Center.

As of this fall, there are a record 2,587 Stanford students on non-immigrant visas, 37 more than last year. In contrast, the early 1990s saw increases of about 200 non- immigrant international students per year, and the late '80s saw about 100 a year, according to I-Center Director John Pearson.

“It didn't surprise me that the increase this year was smaller,” Pearson said. “My colleagues at the University of Southern California are reporting actual declines in international student enrollment, and many other institutions are holding steady.”

The leveling off, he said, has been particularly noticeable at universities with significant numbers of international graduate students, whereas “state schools still heavily recruiting international undergraduates may see their numbers continuing to rise.”

“Maybe more students are staying home to do their graduate work, or it may just be one of those curves,” he said. “We may see a drop or a rise next year. It's very hard to tell.”

Non-immigrant international students now comprise nearly 5 percent of Stanford University's undergraduates (301 out of 6,561), 25 percent of the graduate students (1,842 out of 7,470), and 41 percent of the postdoctoral students on campus (398 out of 961).

Another 827 international students are in the United States on permanent resident status, bringing Stanford's total non- U.S. citizen student population to 3,414.

As in past years, about half of the non-immigrant international students at Stanford are from Asian countries. Another quarter are European, 15 percent are from the Americas, 6 percent are from the Middle East and North Africa, 2 percent are from the Pacific Basin, and 1 percent are from Sub-Saharan Africa.

China continued as the leading country of origin this year, with 245 non-immigrant students (compared with 268 last year), while Taiwan continued in second place with 226 students. Japan follows with 215 students, Canada with 189, India with 182, and the Republic of Korea with 159.

Engineering continued its lead this year as the most popular field for foreign students, with 975 non-immigrant international students, nearly 30 percent of the school's total enrollment.

The School of Humanities and Sciences has 589 non- immigrant international students (about 14 percent of its enrollment); the School of Business, 193 (22 percent); the School of Earth Sciences, 107 (35 percent); the School of Medicine, 58 (about 8 percent); the School of Education, 36 (about 9 percent); and the School of Law, 20 (about 4 percent).

Majors with the highest percentage of non-immigrant international students include petroleum engineering (82 percent international); followed by food research, and German and humanities (67 percent each); and statistics (62 percent).

About 25 percent of Stanford's non-immigrant foreign students - 647 - are women, up 1 percent over last year. Married students number 728, or about 28 percent of the total.

Individual country totals are as follows. (Students listed from political entities that no longer exist, such as Czechoslovakia or the U.S.S.R., have not changed their official country of origin in university records):

Asia: People's Republic of China, 245; Taiwan, 226; Japan, 215, India, 182; South Korea, 159; Singapore, 79; Hong Kong, 70; Indonesia, 32; Malaysia, 27; Pakistan, 18; Thailand, 18; Philippines, 15; Sri Lanka, 11; Bangladesh, 4; Nepal, 4; Macao, 2; Vietnam, 1.

The Americas: Canada, 189; Mexico, 66; Brazil, 47; Venezuela, 25; Colombia, 14; Argentina, 13; Chile, 9; Peru, 9; Uruguay, 5; Panama, 4; Trinidad and Tobago, 4; Costa Rica, 2; Guatemala, 2; Bermuda, 1; Bolivia, 1; Grenada, 1.

Europe: Germany, 135; United Kingdom, 82; France, 60; Italy, 47; Greece, 33; Switzerland, 31; Belgium, 29; Russia, 29; Spain, 25; Netherlands, 24; Sweden, 21; Norway, 19; former U.S.S.R., 15; Bulgaria, 12; Austria, 8; Denmark, 8; Ireland, 8; Romania, 8; Hungary, 7; Poland, 6; Portugal, 6; Ukraine, 6; Croatia, 5; Cyprus, 5; former Yugoslavia, 4; Iceland, 4; Luxembourg, 3; Armenia, 2; former Czechoslovakia, 2; Slovakia, 2; Albania, 1; Belarus, 1; Czech Republic, 1; Estonia, 1; Kazakhstan, 1; Latvia, 1; Lithuania, 1.

Middle East and North Africa: Israel, 55; Turkey, 39; Iran, 21; Lebanon, 7; Saudi Arabia, 6; Egypt, 5; Jordan, 5; Algeria, 1; Iraq, 1; Morocco, 1; Syria, 1; Tunisia, 1.

Pacific Basin: Australia, 37; New Zealand, 20.

Africa: South Africa, 15; Nigeria, 7; Ethiopia, 3; Kenya, 3; Ghana, 2; Cameroon, 1; Tanzania, 1; Uganda, 1; Zimbabwe, 1.



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