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November 12, 2004

U.S. Hosts Fewer Foreign Students

The number of foreign students enrolled in American colleges and universities dropped by 2.4% in 2003-2004 to 572,509, the first decrease in more than 30 years, according to a report by the Institute of International Education. The reasons for the falloff included stricter U.S. visa policies since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, a perception that the United States is no longer as welcoming to overseas students and increased competition from foreign universities. Yet some universities appear to be bucking the trend.

For the third consecutive year, the University of Southern California was the top U.S. university for foreign students, according to the study by the New York-based Institute of International Education. In 2003-04, the university enrolled 6,647 foreign students, up 6 percent from the year before, the study showed. That figure, which included graduate and undergraduate students and those in the English-language program, represented 21 percent of USC's student population. The institute's report showed that India remains the top country of origin for foreign students in the United States, followed by China, Korea and Japan.

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