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International Students Studying STEM in U.S. Jumps 10 Percent

The number of international students studying STEM subjects in the United States grew 10.1 percent from November 2015 to November 2016, according to a recent study published by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal law enforcement agency.

There are 1.23 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status studying at 8,697 schools in the United States, according to ICE’s latest “SEVIS by the Numbers” data. SEVIS is the web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools.

The 1.23 million number represents a 2.9 percent increase compared to last November. And nearly 42 percent of those students were studying STEM — up 46,975 from November 2015.

The overwhelming proportion of international STEM students hailed from Asia, at 87 percent. STEM students from Asia increased 11 percent from November 2015 to November 2016.

Next is Africa, with 4 percent of STEM students coming from that continent, and the numbers increasing 7 percent from November 2015 to November 2016.

North American and European STEM students comprised 3 percent each, and 2 percent of international STEM students were from South America. Only 0.25 percent came from Australia and the Pacific Islands, though their overall numbers increased 15 percent from November 2015 to November 2016.

The complete SEVP review is available on the ICE site.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].

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