Georgia’s foreign university student population grew by 5.9 percent last year, far outpacing a national growth rate that is flattening out amid concerns over visa denials and uncertainty around immigration policy.
With 22,789 students enrolled in 2017-18, Georgia remained the No. 15 host state, according to state fact sheets published in the Open Doors Report of the Institute for International Education. Universities are celebrating Nov. 12-16 as International Education Week.
Nationally, the growth rate slowed to 1.5 percent to 1.09 million students, even as the total hit an all-time record for the third straight year.
In Georgia, the top five sending nations remained unchanged, accounting for strikingly similar proportions of the foreign student population to the previous year: China (30.4 percent), India (16.9 percent), South Korea (9.1 percent), Saudi Arabia and Nigeria (2.1 percent).
But the Savannah College of Art and Design saw a huge jump in its foreign-student population that helped it eclipse Emory University to claim the No. 2 spot for host institutions behind Georgia Tech, the perennial leader by far.
Georgia Tech once again attracted more than 6,000 international students, while SCAD hosted 3,519 foreign students, up from 2,705 last year. That’s a 30 percent increase in one year, meaning SCAD accounted for two-thirds of Georgia’s overall increase.
Emory, another private institution, saw the second-biggest jump, posting a 5.1 percent increase from 2,951 to 3,104 students. Georgia State University held steady at No. 4 with 2,675 students and the University of Georgia stood at 2,265.
Estimated international student expenditures ticked up from $747 million to $808.6 million, an 8.2 percent increase. The figure includes spending on tuition and other living expenses.
Learn more at www.iie.org/opendoors.