According to Open Doors 2011, the annual report on international academic mobility published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the Office of Global Educational Programs of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, there are now 723,277 international students in the United States. This represents a 4.7% increase over 2009/10 and comprises 3.5% of total higher education enrollment (20,550,000) in the US.
Of the top ten sending countries five (5) reported decreases in the number of US-bound students, including India (-1%), Canada (-2.1%), Taiwan (-7%), Japan (-14%) and Turkey (-1.7%). The top three (3) increases were registered by Saudi Arabia (43.6%), China (23.3%) and Vietnam (13.5%).
Vietnam, which now ranks 8th among all places of origin between Japan (#7) and Mexico (#9), recorded an impressive 13.5% increase. As of fall 2010, when the data were collected, there were 14,888 Vietnamese students enrolled at regionally accredited colleges and universities. This is consistent with the SEVIS By the Numbers quarterly snapshot from December 2010, which includes ALL educational institutions and visa types: 17,116 students. I fully expect Vietnam to join the next tier of sending countries (i.e., Japan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Canada) in the next five years.
The OPEN DOORS FACT SHEET: VIETNAM reveals that the overwhelming majority of Vietnamese students continue to study at the undergraduate level. In 2010/11, the breakdown was as follows:
- 74.2% undergraduate
- 16.3% graduate students
- 6.0% other
- 3.5% OPT (Optional Practical Training)
Vietnam ranks 3rd among international students enrolled in community colleges.
Below is a list of fields of study; it comes as no surprise that the majority (41.3%) of Vietnamese students in the US are studying business/management. This is by far the highest percentage of any of the top 25 places of origin. The second highest percentage are studying engineering followed by math/computer science.