Bulgaria among EU Leaders in US Foreign Student Numbers
Bulgaria is ranked 44th in terms of the number of foreign students enrolled at US colleges and universities in 2010-2011, according to the annual report of the US Institute for International Education.
According to the report, the number of Bulgarian students declined by 21.6% - from 2 495 in 2009-2010 down to 1 957 in the 2010-2011 academic year.
The report data indicates that Bulgaria sends annually roughly the same number of international students to the USA as far more populous countries such as Israel, Egypt, Argentina, Jordan, Chile, Ecuador, Kuwait, Trinidad and Tobago, Poland, Romania, Kazakhstan, Greece, and the Netherlands.
Regardless of the decline of the number of Bulgarians studying in the USA, Bulgaria is still ranked seventh out of the 27 EU member states, falling behind only Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.
Bulgaria is the No. 1 country by international students in the USA from among all countries in Eastern Europe, with the exception of Russia and Turkey.
It is even ahead of Poland, Romania, and Ukraine, whose numbers show a similar year-on-year decline of about 10-15%.
Foreign students who studied at US colleges and universities went up 4.7% to 723 000 during the 2010 academic year, the report by the Institute of International Education shows.
These international students, together with their dependents, contributed over USD 20 B to the U.S. Economy, with most of them paying for their education with family funds.
In academic year 2002-03 the number of foreign students went down over tighter immigration policies and concerns over safety as an aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
However, international enrollment has increased since 2006-07, increasing 32% over the past 10 years, according to the institute.
China topped the number of foreign students for the second year in a row with more than 157,000 students, followed by India (104,000) and South Korea (73,000).
China registered the fastest growth in the number of students, followed by Saudi Arabia, which logged a 44% increase with 23 000 students sent. Education experts said the growth in the number of Chinese students in the US is explained by the rise of the middle class in China.
The Asian giant's one-child policy, in a way, helped because four grandparents could help shoulder the cost of an American education, which is considered of high value in China.
South Korea, which is ranked 3rd in terms of absolute numbers, is followed by Canada and Taiwan.
The top 10 list is completed with Saudi Arabia, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, and Turkey.
Full text of the report of the US Institute for International Education is available HERE
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