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Posted on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 10:12 a.m.

Survey: U-M No. 8 on list of universities with most foreign students

By Kellie Woodhouse

Thirteen percent of the University of Michigan's student body is foreign— one of the highest percentages of any higher education institution in the nation.

Thumbnail image for University of Michigan Diag

University of Michigan Diag

A recent survey by the Institute of International Education tallied the number of foreign students at U-M at 5,595, out of a 42,716 overall student body.

That ratio puts U-M at No. 8 on the list of universities in the United States with the highest concentration of foreign students.

U-M said students from China make up nearly one-third of all foreign-born students at U-M. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of foreign students at the university are from Asia.

The Top 5 countries with the most students at U-M are:

  • China: 1,747 students
  • India: 752 students
  • South Korea: 687 students
  • Taiwan: 287
  • Canada: 244

According to the institute, the total number of international students at U.S. universities and colleges is 723,277— up 5 percent from last year.

The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates those students bring about $21 billion to the nation's economy through tuition, fees and living expenses.

Throughout Michigan, there are 24,668 foreign students attending college. Thats a 1.9 percent increase from last year. The institute estimates those students bring in $705.7 million to the state economy each year.

The total number of foreign students at U-M in 2011 declined slightly from 2010, when there were 6,095 foreign students.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

To all of you who are complaining about foreign students on our campuses, let me ask you two questions: Unless you are Native American, where did your ancestors come from? If the largest number of foreign students were from Germany or England, would you be so negative still? Just asking. And while I agree with the song from Avenue Q, "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" (because stereotypes come from somewhere), I am surprised that left up Halter's comment that I think is at best a stereotype bordering on racist - to presume Chinese are making up math, engineering and physics programs. True or not, it's still a stereotype, somewhat racist and will be to many people, offensive.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

Maybe we've finally found a "product" that Michigan can export. First order of business should be to raise all foreign student tuitions.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

UM 8 MSU 9 Interesting that two of the top 10 are in a cold dreary midwestern state


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

How enlightening! To think, since the 70's during the BAM strikes and sit-in's, UM has yet to obtain 10% African-American student population. Yup. Affirmative Action working out really well.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

Well at least we know who makes up the Math, Engineering, and Physics programs....


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

Glad to see AA Public Schools are on the ball having added already a good program in Mandarin. The kids will need it one way or another.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

Come on now people... We alllll know that China counts for "in state" tuition, due to the fact that so many of our Michigan jobs now reside in China.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

Look on the bright side: This keeps the aftermarket price of used Hondas up for those of us who like selling our Hondas.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

drut the U of M is straped with cash, we're talking $ billions. So you can stop with the cuts in welfare argument. Its pure GREED.

Kara H

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

strapped for cash = out of money flush with cash = lots of money straped with cash = ? Regardless, the problem with a lot of UM monies are that they're designated for building or particular programs and not part of the general fund. Education costs are by-and-large still borne by the students/families with in-state tuitions subsidized partially by the state. So out of state tuition is really lucrative for universities. You see the same thing in the AAPS budget and proposed "revenue enhancements" around allowing students from outside of the district in via the Schools of Choice program.

Susan Montgomery

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

International students add tremendously to the diversity of the student body, and are instrumental in helping American students learn how to interact and succeed in a global environment. Many industrial recruiters cite UM students' ability to do so as a major strength to a Michigan education.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

UM actively recruits foreign students. They pay much higher tuition, which helps make up for the huge budget shortfall created by the reduction of taxpayer money from the State of Michigan to public universities.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

Mary Sue Coleman said in an article she wrote for Forbes Magazine that UM "enrolls more Chinese students than any other American University" Why?


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

They have the deepest pockets and UM has even deeper ties with China.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

"The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates those students bring about $21 billion to the nation's economy through tuition, fees and living expenses." 82% of the Chinese students are graduate students. At UM, if the graduate student is appointed as a GSRA or a GSI their tuition and a stipend (>$60,000/yr) is paid for by federal grants or other University funds. Thus, these students bring very little to the US economy, rather we the taxpayers and tuition payers are bringing these funds to the nations economy. I would rather pay for an American student who will contribute to the American economy long after they graduate.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Would a tax and spend Democrat have an avatar with a cowboy hat this big?


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 7:38 p.m.

smokeblwr dont even go there, hes a tax and spend democrat.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

drut, you sound like a Republican with all your love for outsourcing American jobs.....


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

Straped? I applaud your portmanteau, sir! And the University of Michigan (and all universities) do spend their own monies. Many, many, monies, in fact. If you'd prefer that UM, MSU, and other public schools become private, then you should be prepared for far fewer Michigan students being admitted, for tuition to skyrocket even more than it has, and for the state to further decline. The state, as always, will get what it pays for; if it doesn't want to fund education, it will have a populace lacking in education.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

drut that might be true if the U OF M wasn't straped with cash. They have $billions and want to keep eating at the public trough. I say let them spend some of their own money for a while before we give them another dime.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

Last year UM employed about 780 GSIs and a roughly equivalent number of GSRAs. Even if every single GSI and GSRA position were filled by a foreign student, that would leave over 4000 tuition-paying foreign students, paying more tuition than any American student, and helping make up for the $40 million or so the governor wants to cut from UM's budget. This keeps instructors and staff employed at UM, which maintains and improves the quality of education that all UM students receive. The point is, the more money the state cuts from the public universities' budgets, the more foreign and OUT-OF-STATE students UM and other Michigan universities are going to seek out and enroll. Get used to it.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

Wonderful..... Let's educate them with our tax dollars.... Let them go home and start businesses that otherwise might have been started in the US had we educated our own.... Or.... Let them go home.....spill their hate towards the USA.....and plot to blow us up..... Great system we have here isn't it?

Susan Montgomery

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

What makes you think these students have "hate towards the USA" or want to "blow us up" The international students I know are nothing like that. Do you know any of them that you are specifically referring to in making this comment?


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

"U-M said students from China make up nearly one-third of all foreign-born students at U-M. " UM motto is we'll not only let you eat the United States lunch in the world market, but we'll teach you how to do it. How many of these grads are sticking around after graduation and using their expertise here after graduation, as opposed to going back home to China to use their expertise against us? There really needs to be a complete overhaul in education and immigration policies in this country.

Susan Montgomery

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

Many of these students would love to stay in the US, but immigration rules makes it very difficult for them to do so. If they could stay they could contribute to the economic turnaround of our country, as countless immigrants have done in the past, but we won't let them.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

A Michigan school, supported by Michigan taxpayers, that neary a Michigander taxpayer's child can't attend.

Susan Montgomery

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

66% of Michigan undergraduates are from the state of Michigan - <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Out of state students pay $20K a semester tuition, compared to $7K tuition for in-state students. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

I think you mean &quot;nary.&quot;


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

I had to do some googling to figure out how to open the file to which this article links (what the heck is an .ASHX file, anyway?). Apparently you can just change the file extension from .ASHX to .PDF. (If you can't open PDFs, I can't help you.)

John B.

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

The link worked just fine for me, on my ten-year-old computer.