Open Doors 2005, the annual report on international academic mobility published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the US Department of States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, said China followed India having sent 62,523 students, a 1% increase in enrolment, after experiencing a decline of 5% the previous year.
The Republic of Korea, which remained the third leading sender for the fourth year in a row, sent 2% more students at 53,358. Japan, the fourth leading sender with 42,215 students, experienced an increase in enrollment of 3%, reversing a trend in declining enrollments that began three years ago.
Enrolments of students from Canada, the only non-Asian country in the top five, increased by 4% to 28,140. These five countries account for almost half (47%) of all international students in the US.
In 2004/05, the number of international students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions remained fairly steady at 565,039, off about 1% from the previous years totals. This marked the sixth year in a row that US hosted more than half a million foreign students. This years numbers indicate a leveling off of enrolments, after last years decline of 2.4%.
Some campuses reported significant increases in enrolments while other campuses reported declines. Asia continued to be the largest sending region by a wide margin, and showed a slight increase in enrolments.
The slight overall decline in international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities has been attributed to several factors, including real and perceived difficulties in obtaining student visas (especially in scientific and technical fields), rising U.S. tuition costs, vigorous recruitment activities by other English-speaking nations, and perceptions abroad that it is more difficult for international students to go to the US.