International Enrollment on the Rise for Fifth Consecutive Year

International enrollment at the University of St. Thomas continues to rise with the help of graduate students, according to the fall 2013 international enrollment report by International Student Services. New, incoming, degree-seeking undergraduate international students total 47, a 12.9 percent decrease from fall 2012; but their graduate, professional and law counterparts increased 25.4 percent with 64 students.

The total international population at the university this fall is 436, which is an increase of 8.7 percent from last year’s total, 401, and at 44 percent increase since fall 2008.

International students account for 4.2 percent of all students enrolled St. Thomas.

Undergraduates this fall accounted for 193, or 44 percent, of the total international population, while graduate, professional and law students accounted for 243, or 56 percent.

There are an additional 50 students on Optional Practical Training above the 436 students enrolled at St. Thomas. These students have been granted permission to work anywhere in the U.S. in their field of study after they’ve completed their degrees at St. Thomas, according to Lori Friedman, director of International Student Services at St. Thomas.

Students from Saudi Arabia remained the most-represented group at 121 students, up 22 percent from last year’s total of 99. The 67 students from China were enough to surpass India’s 49 students for the second most-represented. The other two top countries are Uganda (35) and Canada (12), which replaced Nepal in the top five.

Saudi Arabia is the sixth country of origin nationwide and likely will reach the top five as the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education continues to offer scholarships to Saudi students who wish to study in the United States and abroad.

The uptick in students from China was anticipated, according to International Admissions director Christina Hilpipre-Frischman. “We look at national trends when deciding where to send our recruiters,” she said. “We have sent recruiters to China for the last four years.”

Report highlights

  • International students represent 59 countries.
  • They represent six of the seven continents (Antarctica, of course, the exception).
  • Most international students are in the School of Engineering (179; 41 percent), followed by:
    • Opus College of Business (119; 27 percent)
    • College of Education, Leadership and Counseling (62; 14 percent)
    • College of Arts and Sciences (49; 11 percent)
    • Non-degree (11; 3 percent)
    • School of Divinity (9; 2 percent)
    • School of Social Work (1; 1 percent).

St. Thomas has been ranked fifth in international student enrollment in Minnesota and the highest among Minnesota private colleges and universities, according to the Institute of International Education’s annual Open Doors report, which will be released Nov. 12. Open Doors reports on the previous school year’s findings. Other top Minnesota schools for international enrollment have been the University of Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State University Mankato and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Read the entire ISS fall 2013 report on the ISS website.