An influx of young Chinese, along with steadily rising enrollments from Saudi Arabia, has enlarged the international student body at US colleges and universities, according to a report issued this week.

One-quarter of the 764,321 international students who enrolled at US schools for the 2011-12 academic year were from China, a 23 percent jump from the previous year, according to the annual Open Doors report. It’s published jointly by the New York-based Institute of International Education and the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Business management and engineering remain the two most popular disciplines for Chinese students in the US.

Overall, the number of foreign students on US campuses rose 5.7 percent last year, in line with a long-running upward trend. A big contributor was Saudi Arabia, which saw a 50 percent increase in the number of its citizens studying in the US (34,139).

But China held its spot, for the third year in a row, as the top source of international students on US campuses, at just over 194,000. The top five was rounded out by India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada, according to the Open Doors survey, which compiles data collected by US institutions themselves.

For Americans who studied abroad in 2010-11, China was the No 5 destination, the fifth consecutive year the country has held that ranking in the Open Doors survey.

Chinese campuses hosted nearly 14,000 students from the US in 2010-11, the most recent academic year for which such data is available.

This article by reporter Yu Wei appeared in China Daily/Asia News Network November 19, 2012

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