UB again ranks among top U.S. universities hosting international students

Indian performers prepare for the International Fiesta, the annual talent competition featuring UB's international student clubs.

Release Date: November 18, 2019

“UB has an excellent reputation overseas, and is highly regarded for strong academics, exceptional research and experiential learning opportunities, and a welcoming, supportive campus community. ”
John J. Wood, interim vice provost for international education
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – For the 17th straight year, the University at Buffalo is rated among the nation’s top 25 institutions hosting international students.

UB is ranked No. 23 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the institute’s 2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today in Washington, D.C.

The census of international students at UB in fall, 2018, totaled 7,121, according to the Open Doors report. The number includes 2,362 students who go on to postgraduate Optional Practical Training. UB’s total state-funded enrollment for fall, 2018, was 29,543 students.

The ranking places UB fourth in New York State, behind only New York University, Columbia and Cornell and ahead of all other SUNY institutions.

UB’s international students hail from 95 different countries. In the Open Doors report, the leading sending countries for UB are: India, China, South Korea, Canada, Iran, Taiwan and Turkey.

“UB has an excellent reputation overseas, and is highly regarded for strong academics, exceptional research and experiential learning opportunities, and a welcoming, supportive campus community,” says John J. Wood, UB interim vice provost for international education.

“It is true that the international environment remains challenging,” Wood says. “The fact that UB has retained its ranking in this highly competitive space reflects the extraordinary efforts of our International Enrollment Management team, led by Joseph Hindrawan, and enrollment managers across the university supporting UB’s international recruitment efforts.”

Wood says institutional choices made by international students still depend very much on the recommendations of fellow students. “The implementation of our comprehensive inclusion and engagement strategy is centered on ensuring their retention and long-term success at UB.

“Some of the many ways we are doing that is through intercultural training for members of the university and the community, offering career services for international students, providing excellent academic and research opportunities as well as strong support services and a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus community,” Wood says.

UB’s research opportunities are one of the things that drew Fengrong Yang, a third-year PhD student from Shandong Province, in China, to UB.

“The most important thing for me was to find a research university for my postgraduate studies in educational psychology,” Yang says.

“I received my master’s degree here in the same department, so I have been at UB for five years. UB has great faculty members in my department, and I am able to complete my degrees without it being quite as competitive as other top-tier universities,” she says.

“UB is also very welcoming to international students,” says Yang.

“Buffalo and UB are pretty diverse. I have always felt a part of the university community here, along with other students that I know who are from China. I have been able to merge with the university community pretty well.”

Yang has always been interested in a teaching career. “I studied for my undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature at Zhejiang University. I am hoping to find a position as a postdoc or faculty member, to allow me to stay in the U.S.”

International students are not isolated from U.S. society in terms of economic and other benefits they bring when they come to the U.S. to further their education. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit for professionals working in international education, contributions of international education include:

  • Advancing learning and scholarship;
  • Providing insight into how people from other countries work;
  • Building up global experience at U.S. colleges and universities, something now increasingly crucial to success in all fields;
  • Expanding horizons for research, creating more opportunities and enhancing quality and innovation.

In the fall of 2018, the number of international students in the U.S increased slightly, to 1,095,299 students, up 0.5% over the previous year. International students represent 5.5% of the 19,828,000 students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.

According to the 2019 Open Doors report, 57% of international students at institutions across the U.S. rely on personal and family resources as their primary source of funding. The numbers of students who rely on current employment has increased over last year, to 20.6%.

The Open Doors Report is published annually by the IIE in partnership with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more data, infographics and resources on the 2019 report, visit https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors.

The 2019 Open Doors report was released on the occasion of the 20th annual celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Education. 

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