Bandar Seri Begawan - Open Doors 2012, the annual report on international academic mobility states that the number of Bruneian students enrolled in US institutions of higher education in 2011/12 has increased by 4.5 per cent compared to the previous year.
Published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, Open Doors 2012 also reports that the total number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by six per cent to 764,495 during the 2011/12 academic year, representing a record high number of international students in the United States.
The strong increase in international student enrollments shows the continued conviction of international students (and parents) that a US degree is a sound investment in their future careers, a finding reinforced by results of recent IIE surveys of students overseas considering studying outside their own countries.
The 2011/12 data mark the sixth consecutive year that Open Doors has reported expansion in the total number of international students in US higher education. There are 31 per cent more international students studying at US colleges and universities than there were a decade ago. A similar increase in the number of "new" international students, those enrolling for the first time at a US college or university in fall 2012, indicates that this growth trend is continuing. New enrollments in 2011 were up seven per cent from the prior year. Despite this strong growth, international students still constitute less than four per cent of total US higher education enrollment.
The growth is largely driven by strong increases in the number of students from China, particularly at the undergraduate level. Chinese student enrollments increased by 23 per cent in total and by 31 per cent at the undergraduate level. Large increases in undergraduate students from Saudi Arabia, funded by Saudi government scholarships, also help explain why international undergraduates studying in the United States now outnumber international graduate students, for the first time in 12 years.
Students from around the world who study in the United States have a positive economic impact on the US economy, and they also contribute to America's scientific and technical research and bring international perspectives into US classrooms, helping prepare American undergraduates for global careers, and often lead to longer-term business relationships and economic benefits.
According to US Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan Public Affairs Officer, Deidra Avendasora, "The United States is an exceptional destination for Bruneians who want to study abroad because of the quality and prestige associated with an American degree. To accommodate the increasing interest of Bruneians wanting to study in the United States, the smbassy has assigned an Education Advisor to provide prospective students accurate information about education in the United States."
Dr Ang Swee Hui, who is currently studying in the United States for a Masters in Public Health at Harvard University, says, "The highlight of my experience studying here has been the people that I have met, whether they had been guest speakers, professors, lecturers or fellow students. They have thought differently, sacrificed, and worked hard to be at the top of their field."
"Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders," said Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. "International education creates strong, lasting relationships between the United States and emerging leaders worldwide. Students return home with new perspectives and a global skill set that will allow them to build more prosperous, stable societies."
"Academic and intellectual exchange fuels innovation and prepares the next generation for global citizenship," IIE's Dr Goodman said. "Today's students will become future business and government leaders whose international experience will equip them to build a prosperous and more peaceful world."
Host states and campuses: The increased international presence has been felt across the United States. California hosted more than 100,000 international students for the first time this year, followed by New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Illinois. Among the top 10 destinations, Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana had the largest percent increases, with the international student population in each state growing by close to 10per cent. At the institutional level, the University of Southern California has the greatest number of international students, followed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York University, Purdue University and Columbia University. New York City remains the top metropolitan area for international students.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin