International students increasingly going to graduate school

Applications to graduate school from international students are on the rise, according to a study conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools.

The April 2011 study found that international student applications for the 2010-2011 year indicated a 9 percent increase from 2009-2010. This increase matched last year’s 9 percent gain from 2008-2009 and marked a sixth year of growth in international student applicants.

The country that the majority of foreign applicants are from is China, which makes up 18 percent of the applicants. Other front-runners include India with 7 percent and the Middle East and Turkey with 12 percent.

The study also found that fields such as engineering and physical and earth sciences were most popular among international graduate students.

At St. Edward’s University, the international graduate student population is still relatively small.

As of fall 2010, St. Edward’s had 21 international graduate students, an increase from the previous year. They are enrolled in the evening Master of Business Administration program.

India, Nigeria and Canada are the top sending countries of international graduate students to St. Edward’s as of fall 2010.

“We don’t have a large number of international graduate students since our programs primarily appeal to working professionals in the central Texas area,” Bridget Davidson, director of the Center for Academic Progress, said in an e-mail.

   St. Edward’s is also tying in international graduates into its Strategic Plan 2015.

   The plan outlines a commitment to making St. Edward’s graduates globally aware and prepared. St. Edward’s will meet this goal by creating deeper connections to global perspectives and immersion, as well as exchange and teaching.

St. Edward’s will also strengthen its international relationships by engaging in mutually beneficial partnerships with universities around the world. Furthermore, St. Edward’s will provide “professional education for international students wishing to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate degree or enhance their professional credentials,” according to Davidson.

   “I believe there is an interest in creating more opportunities for international dialogue in our graduate programs, whether through unique opportunities, such as the global travel and consulting opportunities already taking place in the School of Management and Business, or creating new programming that may be more appealing to international students for graduate study,” Davidson said.

St. Edward’s has also planned enrollment growth that will further diversify the student population by 2015, which will include international graduate students.

The international student deadline is approaching in fall 2011, meaning the number of international graduate students could increase by as early as 2012.