Twin Cities Among Top Metros In Attracting Foreign Students
The Twin Cities are among the nation’s top 20 metro areas in terms of attracting foreign students to its colleges and universities, according to a recently published report by the Bookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy research organization
The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area had 11,623 college students with F-1 visas from 2008 to 2012, ranking 18th out of 118 metro areas. Brookings found that those students paid more than $206 million in tuition and more than $144 million in living costs. And in line with the study’s overall findings, nearly half of the Twin Cities’ foreign students—49.4 percent—stuck around the metro area after graduation, 24th among the areas Brookings listed.
The report arrives at a time in which the number of foreign students on F-1 visas in U.S. colleges and universities rose from 110,000 in 2001 to 524,000 in 2012, according to Brookings. The majority of those students—85 percent—were concentrated in metropolitan areas, spending billions in tuition and other spending, and 45 percent of those students extended their visas to work in the same metro area as their college or university.
More than two-thirds (8,009) of the area’s foreign students attended the University of Minnesota, making the U 14th among all individual schools. Other top Twin Cities destinations included Hamline University, Macalester College, Metropolitan State University and the University of St. Thomas.
The top origin country was China, which sent 3,771 students to study here, followed by India (1,356), South Korea (1,316), Taiwan (406) and Canada (323). Seoul, South Korea, was the top origin city with 710 students represented.
The only area in which the Twin Cities ranked in the latter half of metro areas on Brookings’ list was enrollment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. In its report, Brookings found that two-thirds of foreign students pursuing a bachelor’s or higher degree pursued STEM fields but in the Twin Cities 38.6 percent of foreign students pursued degrees in those fields—72nd out of 118 metro areas.