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November 18, 2015

Missouri sees 19 percent increase in international students

The number of international students studying in Missouri increased by 19 percent during the 2014-2015 academic year.

The increase allowed Missouri to maintain its rank of 12th in the nation for the number of foreign students enrolled at the state’s colleges and universities. Missouri ranked 16th  in 2010.

A new report from the Institute of International Education shows Missouri’s international enrollment grew by more than 3,400 students – from 18,205 students in 2013-2014 to 21,703 students in 2014-2015. Nationwide, the number of international students increased 10 percent, the highest rate of growth in 35 years, according to the Open Doors Report.

The number of Missouri students studying abroad also increased, from 4,497 in 2012-2013 to 4,951 students in 2013-2014. Nationwide, the number of students studying in another country increased 5 percent.

“We are excited and honored that more international students are choosing Missouri as their home for higher education,” said Karla McCollum, chair of the Study Missouri

Consortium and admissions director at North Central Missouri College in Trenton. “The international students on our campuses increase cultural awareness and help foster a global view. We’re also pleased to see more Missouri students taking advantage of global opportunities while enrolled in higher education.”

The Study Missouri Consortium is a group of more than 40 colleges and universities that promotes the state’s diverse academic opportunities to students in other countries and study-abroad opportunities for Missouri students.

“The high quality and variety of degree programs offered at Missouri's colleges and universities continue to attract international students in record numbers," said David Russell, Missouri commissioner of higher education.

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 Brazil.

Missouri universities enrolling the greatest number of international students are:

  • University of Missouri in Columbia, 2,879
  • Washington University, 2,664
  • University of Central Missouri, 2,205
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1,950
  • Missouri State University, 1,748

The Open Doors Report also examined the economic impact of international education. Foreign students are estimated to have contributed approximately $615 million to Missouri’s economy, an increase from $509.3 million during the 2013-2014 academic year.

For more information about the Study Missouri Consortium, visit studymissouri.net.