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Growth of International Students at American Business Schools

December 28, 2011

The number of international students enrolling in post-graduate business schools in the United States is rapidly growing and there’s been many studies to support this.

According to Businessweek, the average international student enrollment in the top 20 full-time U.S. MBA programs “is now 33.4 percent, up from 30.2 percent at the height of the economic crisis, when visa and financing issues prevented many international applicants from enrolling.” The article notes that a report completed by the Council of Graduate Schools shows that with a 6% increase, business programs in the United States had the highest growth in international graduate student enrollment this year.

According to a report by the Graduate Management Admission Council, “46 percent of programs in 2011 reported growth in applications from foreign students.” Prospective students from Asian-Pacific countries sent the highest number of applications. There are also more women from countries like China, Vietnam and Taiwan that are pursuing post-graduate business degrees.

Lastly, the Center for Work-Life Policy released a study in 2011 showing that 76% of Chinese women aspire to have a top job, a goal that studying business in the United States can help them achieve, Businessweek reports.

A variety of reasons can be attributed to this increase of international students in U.S. business schools.  According to Businessweek, there is a higher approval rating for F-1 visas, in part due to Secretary Clinton’s push to get more international students to study in the United States. Some Asian countries are becoming wealthier, allowing more opportunities for their students to study in places like the United States. Shantanu Dutta, vice-dean for graduate programs at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, said, “[International students] are more confident about the economy back home, and there is a lot of high energy and enthusiasm.”




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