UB again among the top 20 U.S. universities hosting international students

More than 8,000 international students in WNY — 6,504 at UB — contributed over $194 million to the economy

Release Date: November 17, 2014

“Moving up in the Open Doors ranking is especially gratifying given the intensifying competition for international students worldwide.”
Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – For the 12th year in a row, the University at Buffalo is ranked among the top 20 U.S. institutions hosting international students by the Open Doors Report, which was released Nov. 17 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in Washington, D.C.

For 2013-14, the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange shows 6,504 international students at UB. This number includes students engaged in Optional Practical Training, that is, those with an F-1 student visa engaged in temporary employment directly related to their major area of study.

This figure places UB 17th among 2,900 U.S. colleges and universities surveyed. It represents an increase of 700 students, or 11 percent, over the 2012-13 total of 5,806, when UB was ranked 18th on the list.

The majority of the 20 schools ranked are state universities, but UB is the only State University of New York institution among them.

The “International Student Economic Value Tool” published annually by The Association of International Educators (NAFSA) concurrently with the Open Doors Report indicates that the 8,228 international students attending Western New York colleges and universities contributed $194,402,020 to the economy and supported 2,294 jobs here. According to NAFSA, UB’s international students had a total economic impact of $140,307,100.

The NAFSA report can be found at http://www.nafsa.org/_/File/_/eis2014/USA.pdf.

Stephen Dunnett, PhD, vice provost for international education at UB, says, “Moving up in the Open Doors ranking is especially gratifying given the intensifying competition for international students worldwide. Our outstanding international recruitment and admission staff are working harder to achieve year-on-year enrollment growth targets.

“We want to increase our international enrollment in a strategic fashion while continuing to improve the quality profile and diversity of the students who are admitted. Our efforts to attract international students clearly benefit from the advances UB has made in various global university rankings,” he says.

“Word of mouth is our best recruiting tool and, especially overseas. It is very important in a student’s choice of university,” Dunnett says. “UB ranks high in student satisfaction with the quality of the education, student services and housing options they receive here. This is reflected in our high retention rate. International students and their families find Western New York a safe, welcoming and affordable place to live and study.”

The Open Doors Report lists New York State, with a total international enrollment of 98,906, second among the 50 states for international student enrollment. Its numbers are up more than 12 percent from last year. Besides UB, two other universities in New York are among the top 20 hosting institutions in the state: New York University ranked first, and Columbia University was fourth.

The Open Doors report is published annually by the IIE in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The data was released Nov. 17 on the occasion of the 15th annual celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional data from the Open Doors report:

  • The total number of international college students enrolled nationwide in 2013-14 was a record-high 886,052, up 8.1 percent from 2012-13. These students made up 4.2 percent of the 21,216,000 students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. In addition, international students enrolling for the first time increased 7.5 percent in 2013-14 over 2012-13.
  • The largest numbers of international students enrolled in 2013-14 at UB came from China, India, South Korea, Canada, Malaysia, Turkey and Iran.

Additional data from the NAFSA report:

  • The 886,052 international students and their families at universities and colleges across the US contributed $26.8 billion to the U.S. economy and supported 340,000 jobs, most in the educational, accommodation, dining and retail industries.
  • The 98,906 international students in New York State last year contributed more than $3 billion to the state economy and supported 40,331 jobs. The average number of jobs supported in a U.S. state is about 6,300 jobs.
  • The economic impact of international students in New York State was attributed to high enrollment numbers in Buffalo and New York City, and specifically at NYU, Columbia and UB.
  • The total economic impact of international students on Western New York was $194,402,020, and their presence led to the creation or support of 2,294 jobs.
    – 7,559 international students last year contributed $173, 273,624 to the Western New York economy and resulted in the creation of or support for 2,155 jobs (1,943 attributed to UB) in Representative Brian Higgins’ district.
    – $21,128,396 was contributed to the Western New York economy and 139 jobs created or supported by 669 international students in Representative Chris Collins’ district.

In addition to their economic contributions, NAFSA says these students offer an “immeasurable academic and cultural value…to our campuses and local communities.” Specifically, they:      

  • Build bridges between Americans and those of other nationalities.
  • Bring global perspectives to U.S. classrooms and research labs.
  • Support U.S. innovation through science and engineering coursework, making it possible for U.S. colleges and universities to offer these courses to U.S. students.
  • Support programing and services on campus for all students by paying tuition at out-of-state rates, funded largely by non-U.S. sources.

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