campus news

UB in Top 25 for international students

A globe made up of national flags.


Published November 17, 2022

Nojin Kwak.
“As a global university, UB is committed to making our campus culturally diverse and helping our international students succeed at UB. ”
Nojin Kwak, vice provost for international education

UB is among the Top 25 universities in the nation for hosting international students.

The Institute of International Education ranked UB No. 25 in its latest census, “The Open Doors 2022 Report on International Educational Exchange. UB ranked No. 27 on the list the previous two years.

UB hosted a total of 6,723 international students during the fall 2021, according to the new report released this week by the Washington, D.C.-based organization. The numbers include those who continued in the U.S. with postgraduate Optional Practical Training, which allows for a period of temporary employment in their field of study.

It was a bounce-back year for UB — and higher education in general — after the COVID-19 pandemic allowed so few international students to travel to the U.S. during the fall 2020. As a whole, international enrollment increased 3.8% at U.S. colleges and universities during the fall 2021, while rising 9.1%, or 562 students, at UB, according to the report.

Contributing to that increase at UB was a growth in international graduate students, particularly in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, says Nojin Kwak, vice provost for international education.

“UB’s impressive showing, as reflected in the 2021-22 numbers reported in Open Doors, suggests that our excellent programs, support services and campus culture continue to attract talented students from around the world, despite the impacts of the pandemic on our ability to recruit them in person,” Kwak says.

“Our current students and alumni continue to be great recruiters for UB and speak to the benefits of studying here.”

The countries sending the most students to UB were, in order, India, China and South Korea.

Among SUNY institutions, UB had the most international students. Among all universities in New York State, only New York, Columbia and Cornell universities hosted more international students than UB last fall.

New York University had the largest international enrollment among all U.S. institutions with 21,081, according to the report. Rounding out the Top 5 were Northeastern University, 17,836; Columbia, 16,956; University of Southern California, 15,729; and Arizona State University, 15,293.

Long known for its international student body, this is the 20th straight year that UB has ranked among the Top 30 institutions in the annual Open Doors report, which is considered a benchmark for higher education.

“As a global university, UB is committed to making our campus culturally diverse and helping our international students succeed at UB,” Kwak says.

Likewise, he pointed out the contributions that international students at UB make to the larger Buffalo region.

In a separate but related report, NAFSA: Association of International Educators estimated that international students at UB contributed $178 million to the local economy and supported 1,712 jobs during the 2021-22 academic year.