WASHINGTON — There are 1.2 million international students using an F (academic) or M (vocational) visa to study in the United States according to the latest "SEVIS by the Numbers," a quarterly report on international student trends prepared by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The report, released Thursday by SEVP, highlights November 2015 data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-based system that includes information about international students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are in the United States.
Based on data extracted from SEVIS Nov. 5, international student enrollment at U.S. schools was up eight percent compared to November 2014. There were 8,803 U.S. schools certified by SEVP to enroll international students, a two percent decrease from the previous year.
Thirty-nine percent of international students studying in the United States, equating to more than 460,000 individuals, were enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) coursework in November. Eighty-seven percent of international students pursuing STEM studies were from Asia.
The November report includes a special section about international students from South Korea. South Korea ranks third overall for number of F and M students that come to study in the United States. South Korean students account for seven percent of the United States’ international student population.
Forty percent of international students from South Korea were enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs, while 20 percent were enrolled in STEM courses of study. Since November 2014, the number of international students from South Korea enrolled in secondary school degree programs has decreased 14 percent.
For the first time this year, SEVIS data identified New York University as the school with the largest international student population, followed by the University of Southern California, Columbia University, Northeastern University and the University of Illinois. Purdue had the most international students pursuing STEM coursework.
Other key points from the report include: 77 percent of all international students were from Asia. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil and Mexico.
The full report can be viewed here. Report data was extracted from SEVIS Nov. 5. The report captures a point in time snapshot of data related to international students studying in the United States. Data for the previous "SEVIS by the Numbers" report was extracted from SEVIS in July 2015.
Individuals can explore and drill down international student data from current and previous "SEVIS by the Numbers" reports by visiting SEVP’s interactive mapping tool. This information is viewable at the continent, region and country level and includes information on gender and education levels, as well as student populations by state, for international students from geographical areas across the globe.
SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.
Both use SEVIS to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with U.S. laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.
HSI reviews SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with possible national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. Additionally, SEVP’s Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.
Learn more about SEVP at www.ICE.gov/SEVP.