Campus News

UB again among top universities hosting international students

Photo of international students at UB.

UB ranks third in New York State, behind only New York University and Columbia and ahead of all other SUNY institutions, in the number of international students it enrolls. Photo: Douglas Levere


Published November 13, 2018 This content is archived.

“UB’s international community makes students like me feel comfortable. I found UB to be a good place to experience the different perspectives of what I wanted to learn. ”
Qichang Tang, master's student
Graduate School of Education

For the 16th straight year, UB is rated among the nation’s top 25 institutions hosting international students.

UB is ranked No. 22 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the institute’s 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today in Washington, D.C.

The census of international students at UB in fall 2017 totaled 7,126, according to the Open Doors report. The number includes 2240 students who go on to post-graduate Optional Practical Training. UB’s total state-funded enrollment for fall 2017 was 28,796 students.

The ranking continues to place UB third in New York State, behind only New York University and Columbia, and ahead of all other SUNY institutions.

UB’s international students hail from 105 different countries. In the Open Doors report, the leading sending countries for UB are: India, China, South Korea, Iran, Turkey, Taiwan and Canada.

“While it’s true we operate in an increasingly challenging environment, our extensive international recruitment effort continues to be successful, as prospective students recognize the excellent academic and research opportunities UB offers, as well as strong support services and a welcoming, diverse and inclusive campus community,” says John J. Wood, interim vice provost for international education.

Wood says UB has also taken great strides to better enhance international students’ professional development and career preparation.

“Among the ways we are ‘sealing the deal’ with admitted international students is through ‘yield-enhancement’ events hosted by deans and faculty in the students’ home countries,” he says. “This a great way to persuade them to commit to UB.”

With a total international enrollment of 121,260 students, New York state is second among the 50 states for international student enrollment, according to the report. The figure represents an increase of 2.4 percent over last year.

UB’s international student contribution in the past academic year is estimated at $196 million, supporting 2,469 jobs. The total economic impact for the U.S. in 2017-18 is $39 billion, supporting 455,622 jobs.

“UB is focused on becoming a national leader in the inclusion and engagement of international students,” Wood says.

“Improving the campus environment and services for international students is a clear priority for us to ensure their retention and long-term success at UB.”

Qichang “Ryan” Tang, a UB graduate student from Guangzhou, China, received a Bachelor’s degree from Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu, China, in 2014.

Arriving at UB in 2014, Tang received a Master of Education degree from UB in 2016, and has been working on his PhD in Education Culture, Policy and Society. Tang says he primarily learned about UB through U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges. “I also received information from a friend in China, who was a U.S. student from Buffalo,” he says.

“When I arrived, I found UB to be a welcoming place and made friends pretty quickly.”

Tang says UB’s international community “makes students like me feel comfortable. I found UB to be a good place to experience the different perspectives of what I wanted to learn.”

Phuong To Uyen Tran also says the university’s international community was one of the reasons she chose UB.

“UB is diverse, with an excellent ranking. It is also affordable,” says Tran, a third-year student from Vietnam majoring in marketing and business administration.

“The town I am from, Vuingtau, is small, so I was attracted by UB’s size. The Vietnamese students here all know one another, but I also have some American friends.” After receiving her degree, Tran plans to pursue career opportunities in both the U.S. and Canada.

Yuxin Zhao, a third-year graduate student from Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi Province, China, will complete the third year of a master’s degree in filmmaking and media study at the end of this semester.

“I am completing my thesis, a film on Chinese immigrants in New York City and their lives,” she says.

“In China, public universities have so many resources, and my parents suggested I apply to a highly ranked public university in the U.S. UB fit what I was looking for.

“UB is diverse,” she says. “There is a big international student base and I felt that it would be more supportive of someone like me, and there would be relatively more respect.”

Zhao plans to look for film and media work in New York City after she receives her degree.  

According to NAFSA, additional contributions of international education include:

  • In an increasingly global job market, providing insight into how people from other countries work.
  • Expanding horizons for research and learning, creating more opportunities and enhancing quality and innovation.
  • Enhancing constructive leadership in the global community.

In fall 2017, the number of international students enrolled in U.S higher education increased slightly, to 1,094,792 students, up 1.5 percent versus 3.4 percent the previous year. International students represent 5.5 percent of the 19,831,000 students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.

According to the 2018 Open Doors report, 58.6 percent of international students at institutions across the U.S. rely on personal and family resources as their primary source of funding. Nearly 19 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 2018 report, visit IIE’s website.

The 2018 Open Doors report was released on the occasion of the 19th annual celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Education.  Read about UB’s celebration of International Education Week.