Campus News

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

Three female Indian students performers prepare for the International Fiesta.

Indian performers prepare for the International Fiesta, the annual talent competition featuring UB's international student clubs. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

By MICHAEL ANDREI

Published November 19, 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

For the 17th straight year, UB 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 yesterday 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 countries sending students to 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, 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,” he explains, “is through intercultural training for members of the university and the community, offering career services for international students and providing excellent academic and research opportunities, as well as strong support services and a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus community.”

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

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

“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 says she’s 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 the economic and other benefits they bring when they come to the U.S. to further their education. According to the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), 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 fall 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 the IIE website.

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.

READER COMMENT

I can never forget that I was a candidate of the first international exchange program of UB and the great impact UB had on my future. Thanks to God and thank you, UB! Always grateful!! 

Roxy Abraham