Campus News

UB again among top universities hosting international students

International students studying together in Lockwood library.

The largest number of international students at UB hail from China, India, South Korea, Canada, Iran and Turkey.


Published November 13, 2017 This content is archived.

“UB is very diverse, and I have met many different people from around the world, which I have greatly enjoyed. ”
Hwan Lee, third-year biotechnology major

For the 15th straight year, UB is among the top 25 U.S. institutions hosting international students.

UB is ranked No. 21 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the institute’s 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today in Washington, D.C.

The census of international students at UB in fall 2016 totaled 7,252, including 2,188 students on post-graduation Optional Practical Training, according to the Open Doors report. The number places UB third in New York State, behind only New York University and Columbia, and ahead of all other SUNY institutions. UB has a total enrollment of 30,648 students.

UB’s international students hail from 112 different countries. The largest numbers come to the university from China, India, South Korea, Canada, Iran and Turkey.

“The fact that UB has retained its ranking in this highly competitive space reflects the extraordinary efforts of our International Enrollment Management staff led by Joseph Hindrawan,” says Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education.

“Joe and his colleagues now recruit around the world, year-round, to find excellent students for UB,” Dunnett says. “As our numbers grow, we are more mindful of our efforts to facilitate the inclusion and engagement of international students to ensure their retention and long-term success at UB.”

New York State, with a total international enrollment of 114,316 students, is second among the 50 states for international student enrollment, according to the report. The figure represents an increase of 7.1 percent over last year.

“With the implementation of our comprehensive inclusion and engagement strategy,” says Dunnett, “UB will become even more attractive for international students, whose institutional choices still depend very much on the recommendations of fellow students.”

Hwan Lee, a third-year student from Busan, South Korea, chose UB for the opportunities presented by the university’s biomedical research programs.

“I am a biotechnology major, and plan to work in the field after I graduate,” says Lee, “ideally, in biomedical research near a hospital. I would recommend UB to anyone interested in the medical or biological fields.

“UB is very diverse, and I have met many different people from around the world, which I have greatly enjoyed,” Lee adds.

The diversity of the campus community is also a favorite point about UB mentioned by Gordon Tan, a fifth-year student from Singapore who is pursuing a PhD in geography.

“One of the things I have enjoyed most about UB is interaction with the faculty, and meeting so many people from around the world,” Tan says.

Tan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Singapore Management University and an MBA from the UB School of Management, plans to pursue a career in academia.

“While I was working on my MBA, my adviser, Dr. Jessie Poon, who is also from Singapore, suggested I focus on international trade. A PhD in geography is a good fit for me,” says Tan.

Ran Wang, a seventh-year student from Beijing, is working on a PhD in linguistics. Ran, who came to UB with a BA from Capital Normal University in Beijing, is planning a career in academia.

“I would say my best experience during my time at UB is meeting so many people from around the world,” says Wang. “I have been exposed to many different ideas and ways of thinking, and I am a more open-minded person as a result.”  

Doeun Park is a fourth-year student from Seoul, South Korea, majoring in accounting.

“I am planning to work here in the U.S. for the first five or six years after I graduate,” he says. “I haven’t thought too much beyond that right now.”

Park, a sergeant on active reserve in the South Korean military, took advantage of a study abroad program. He is enrolled in the School of Management Undergraduate Honors Program, and hopes to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms.

“I met many more people once I became involved in more of the programs at the School of Management,” he says. “UB offers many opportunities for students outside of the classroom, as well as inside.”

According to the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), economic benefits gained from international students attending UB bring an economic impact of $184.7 million to Western New York, which supports 2,230 jobs.  

Additional benefits of international education noted by NAFSA include:

  • Increasing global experience at U.S. colleges and universities, something now increasingly crucial to success in all fields.
  • Advancing learning and scholarship.
  • Building understanding and respect among different peoples.
  • Enhancing constructive leadership in the global community.

In the fall of 2016, the number of international students enrolled in U.S higher education decreased to 903,127 — up 3.4 percent versus 7.1 percent last year. International students represent just over 5 percent of the more than 20 million students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.

According to the 2017 Open Doors report, 60.3 percent of international students at institutions across the U.S. rely on personal and family resources as their primary source of funding. Slightly over 16 percent of students rely on current employment.

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 2017 report, visit the Open Doors website.

The 2017 Open Doors report was released on the occasion of the 18th annual celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Education.

UB is holding a variety of events this week to celebrate International Education Week.