How international is Minnesota in higher education?


Study abroad has hit record levels — both among foreign students coming to the United States and Yanks studying abroad — according to this Associated Press piece I reposted this morning in Notes in the Margins.

So how does Minnesota stack up this year?

It’s holding steady at 19th place with 13,232 students, up 3.9 percent from last year, according to the Open Doors Fact Sheet put out by the Institute of International Education.

The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota remains on top in the state with 6,178 students, up 9 percent over last year.

Campus officials put out a few other stats in a news release:

The Twin Cities campus maintained its third-place ranking in the nation among doctorate-granting institutions in the number of students who participated in an education experience abroad in 2011-12, with 2,508 students. This year’s report moves the university to the top of the Big 10 schools in study abroad participation.

In addition, the university ranks 16th among doctorate-granting institutions with 6,178 international students in 2012-13, down from 14th place despite an increase of 571 students. (Study abroad statistics are reported one year behind international student statistics.)

St. Cloud State is second with 1,215, the only campus in the top five that saw a decrease from last year (down 2.8 percent to 1,215).

MSU-Mankato is third (up 15 percent to 885) and MSU-Moorhead is fourth (up 12 percent to 528).

At fifth place is University of St. Thomas (up 3.2 percent to 448), and is the private college with the most foreign students.

I’ve got a call in to see how Minnesota stacks up in its percentage of foreign students.

Despite the uptick, as I wrote back in September, many colleges in the state want to boost those numbers, and so have teamed up to market Minnesota more aggressively abroad. We’ll see how that turns out.

So which countries are coming over here?

China remains the nation feeding the most students to Minnesota campuses — steady at about 29 percent of the foreign-student population.

The next three countries — South Korea (9.8 percent), India (9.2 percent) and Nepal (5.1 percent) didn’t deviate much in their share of the population.

But Saudi Arabia ousted Canada for fifth place, with a 4.2 percent share of the pool of foreign students here.

(All told, the top five countries account for almost 58 percent of the foreign students in Minnesota.)

Meanwhile, more Minnesotans are studying abroad as well — 9,249 in 2001-12, up 4 percent.

(As I reported in September, that has its own risks.)

You can read this year’s report above, and last year’s below.