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Last modified: Friday, December 4, 2009

New report confirms IU's standing as an international university

Dec. 4, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's standing as one of America's leading international universities was further confirmed by data recently published by the highly regarded Open Doors Report for 2009.

According to the report, IU Bloomington increased its national standing from 19th to 11th in terms of its students studying abroad. And it ranks 15th among doctorate institutions for enrolling international students in its academic programs.

The Open Doors Report is published annually by the Institute of International Education with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The 2009 report figures were gathered from approximately 3,000 accredited U.S. higher education institutions of all types and sizes. Data for U.S. students studying abroad reflect the 2007-08 school year, while data for international students enrolled in U.S. institutions were collected for the 2008-09 academic year.

print making image

Students in the IU Venice Program learn print-making techniques in the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica.

Print-Quality Photo

"In an increasingly competitive global economy, the international dimension of education is becoming more and more important. Indeed, it is a matter of practical necessity -- we have to provide it as part of a good education, and students increasingly demand it," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie.

"The new Open Doors Report reflects the success of Indiana University's comprehensive strategy for international engagement, which includes expanding study-abroad opportunities for IU students and increasing the number of international students from multiple nations," he continued. "In the last few years, in order to encourage additional study-abroad activity and attract greater numbers of international applicants, we have actively pursued new and expanded relationships with foreign universities, increased our recruitment efforts and established new degree programs. Additionally, we have also sought new ways to provide assistance to students who may not have the resources to study abroad.

"All of these efforts have resulted in the further internationalization of IU. These times of considerable economic uncertainty may also provide the opportunity for even more innovative thinking in global education and research," McRobbie said.

A record 2,052 IU Bloomington students enrolled in study-abroad programs during the 2007-08 academic year, raising the school's national ranking to 11th, up from 19th in the previous academic year. That number represents a 22 percent increase from the 1,686 IU Bloomington students enrolled in study-abroad programs the year before.

Other IU campuses were up as well. At Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 389 students took part in study-abroad programs -- a 17 percent increase from the previous year -- and the six regional campuses reported 237 students in study-abroad programs, up 30 percent over the previous year.

University-wide, a total of 2,678 IU students participated in study-abroad programs in 2007-08, a 22 percent increase over the previous year.

Nationally, the report indicates that a record 262,416 U.S. students participated in overseas study programs during the same time period, for an increase of 8.5 percent, which is a four-fold increase over the past two decades.

The number of international students enrolled at IU Bloomington in the last academic year climbed nearly 6.5 percent to a total 4,565 individuals, resulting in IU Bloomington being ranked 15th nationally. At IUPUI, the number of international students increased by 12 percent to 1,407 individuals.

University-wide, IU saw international student enrollment jump by 8.7 percent in the 2008-09 year to a total of 6,283 students.

Nationally, the report showed an 8 percent increase to an all-time high of 671,616 international students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities during the 2008-09 academic year. This is the largest percentage increase in international student enrollments since 1980-81.

"The worldwide need for education continues to increase, and the reputation of U.S. universities remains at the highest level," said Patrick O'Meara, IU vice president for international affairs. "In our ever-more interconnected world, the experience of an education abroad and the global diversity of the university community represented by international students, are no longer an extra bonus of being part of an institution with a global perspective. They are now essential to our students' future careers and future lives as educated citizens."

"The unprecedented growth in study-abroad at Indiana University underscores the value that students perceive by enriching their degree program with an education-abroad experience," said Kathleen Sideli, associate vice president for Overseas Study at IU. "IU faculty have been innovative in creating new opportunities for students all over the world which are directly connected to their majors and minors, allowing them to understand their academic discipline through an international lens."

Popular destinations among IU students and their counterparts nationally for study abroad continue to be in Europe. However, the numbers of students going to countries such as China, India, Australia, Costa Rica and Japan all increased nationally, and IU students followed the pattern. For example, travel to Costa Rica by IU students increased by 100 percent, while travel to India was up by 29 percent.

Indian and Chinese students form the largest national groups studying in the U.S., accounting together for 30 percent of the total. At IU Bloomington these two countries rank second and third, while South Korea sends the largest number of students. Together, the three countries account for more than half of Bloomington's international students.

Business and engineering are the fields of study most often pursued by international students coming to the U.S. with 20.6 percent choosing business and management, and 17.7 percent choosing various areas of engineering.

International students continue to be attracted to IU Bloomington because of the global reputation of the Kelley School of Business and the Jacobs School of Music, as well as IU's strength in the physical and life sciences, social sciences, mathematics, computer science and information technology.

The 2009 Open Doors Report can be accessed at