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December 10, 2019

Missouri higher education attracts more than 22,000 international students

Report shows students made $637 million economic impact

A report released this fall shows Missouri ranks 15th in the number of international students studying in the state.

According to the 2019 Open Doors Report from the Institute of International Education, Missouri’s international enrollment was 22,428, ranking Missouri number 15 among all other states.

Nationwide, the number of international students increased .5 percent, surpassing 1 million students for the fourth consecutive year, and reaching an all-time high.

“With a variety of quality programs and experiences, Missouri colleges and universities continue to attract students from around the globe," said Zora Mulligan, Missouri commissioner of higher education. “We are thankful these students have chosen Missouri. Learning alongside students from other parts of the world adds significant value – it increases cultural awareness and fosters a global view crucial for today’s workforce.”

The number of Missouri students studying abroad for academic credit was 5,349, a decrease of about 400 students over the previous year.

Students from China made up the greatest percentage of international students in Missouri. Other countries with large numbers of students studying in the state include India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Vietnam.

Missouri universities enrolling the greatest number of international students are:

  • Washington University, 3,993

  • University of Central Missouri, 3,638

  • University of Missouri-Columbia, 2,247

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1,999

  • Missouri State University, 1,386

International students made a significant financial impact to Missouri in 2018, contributing $637,768,257 to the Missouri economy through tuition, room and board, and other expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Nationwide, international students contributed $44.7 billion.

For more information about findings from the Open Doors Report, visit https://www.iie.org/


About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.