Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Number of International Students in Western Pennsylvania Grows by 8.8 Percent in 2010-11 School Year, Generating $256.3 Million in Economic Benefit, Report Says

The number of international students attending colleges, universities and English language programs in Western Pennsylvania increased by 8.8 percent during the 2010-2011 academic year, and their economic impact increased by 5.6 percent to $256.3 million, according to a new report.

The number of international students in the region grew to 9,322 at 30 institutions in 2010-11, up from 8,570 in the previous year, according to the report by NAFSA, an organization of international educators, to coincide with International Education Week, which runs from November 14-18.

"This is exciting and encouraging news for the Pittsburgh region, because international students are a key component in the region's cultural and economic diversity, and in our future growth," said Thomas Buell, Jr., Director of the Study Pittsburgh initiative at GlobalPittsburgh, whose goal is to promote the region around the world as an excellent place to study.

About two-thirds of international students in the Pittsburgh region attend Carnegie Mellon University (3,853) and the University of Pittsburgh (2,607). Intenational students at Penn State University total 5,207 but were not separate among individual campuses by the NAFSA report.

The number of international students in the state of Pennsylvania grew 8.6 percent to 30,507 during the same period, and made a total economic contribution of $965 million, according to the NAFSA report. Pennsylvania placed sixth on the list of states attracting the most international students.

Top countries with students studying in Pennsylvania were China (25 percent of the total), India (17 percent), South Korea (10 percent), Saudi Arabia (4 percent) and Taiwan (4 percent), NAFSA reported. 

Pennsylvania District Map
The institutions included in the NAFSA report are divided by Congressional Districts 3, 4, 12, 14 and 18, which cover most of Western Pennsylvania (see map).

International student enrollment across the United States increased by 4.7 percent to a total of 723,277, according to NAFSA. The economic impact of international students and their dependents for the year totaled more than $20 billion.

The economic benefits were calculated by adding tuition and fees with living expenses for the students and their dependents, less the amount of scholarships and grants provided to them.

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