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November 24, 2004

Pitt’s International Enrollment Falls by 4%

International student enrollment at Pitt has dropped by almost 4 percent in the last year – the largest percentage decline in 20 years, according to the University’s Office of International Services (OIS) and Office of Institutional Research (OIR).

This year’s fall (fiscal year 2005) enrollment of international students saw drops in both graduate and undergraduate admissions: Pitt enrolled a total of 1,667 international students at its Pittsburgh campus, down from 1,734 last year. Graduate enrollment of international students slipped by 3.2 percent (from 1,590 students in FY04 to 1,540 in FY05) and undergraduate enrollments fell by almost 12 percent (from 144 students in FY04 to 127 in FY05).

Although undergraduate enrollment of international students accounts for only about 9 percent of the current international student population, the downward trend in admissions is alarming, particularly over the last few years, according to OIS Director David Clubb. Undergraduate enrollment of international students at Pitt has plummeted 32.4 percent over the last two years from 188 to 127 students.

“Although there has been a decline in the overall international student enrollment at Pitt this year, I am confident that the University will be watching this closely and will take whatever steps are necessary to maintain and even grow this population in the future,” Clubb said. Pitt is among many colleges and universities dealing with a decline in international student enrollments.

Nationally, international student enrollment slipped 2.4 percent from FY03 to FY04 – the first nationwide decline in 32 years, according to the Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education.

According to the national study, which gauges international student presence in the United States, international undergraduate enrollments decreased nationwide by almost 5 percent while graduate admissions rose by 2.5 percent.

The overall decline in international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities has been attributed to a variety of reasons, including real and perceived difficulties in obtaining students visas, rising U.S. tuition costs, vigorous recruitment activities by other English-speaking nations, and perceptions abroad that international students may no longer be welcome in the United States, according to the study.

For more information on the Open Doors report, go to

– Mary Ann Thomas

Filed under: Feature,Volume 37 Issue 7

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