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College Applications From International Graduate Students Increase

I’m Steve Ember with the VOA Special English Education Report.

A recent report says more international graduate students are seeking to continue their education in the United States this year than last year.

The Council of Graduate Schools announced the report. It is based on a study of more than one hundred fifty colleges and universities. They include schools that have the most foreign students. The study says graduate applications from international students increased eleven percent from last year. This growth follows a two-year decrease of thirty-two percent.

Graduate students have already completed at least four years of college and have earned at least one degree. They are seeking to earn an advanced degree.

The report said the number of requests or applications increased the most among students from India and China. Applications from students in India rose by twenty-three percent. Applications from students in China increased by twenty-one percent. Each year these two nations send the largest number of students to American colleges and universities.

The Council of Graduate Schools said applications increased in all areas of study, including the sciences. Applications to study engineering, for example, rose by seventeen percent. Those from students wanting to study the life sciences increased by sixteen percent.

However, international applications are still down twenty-three percent since two thousand three for the universities in the study. Experts say this was the result of increased security in the United States after the terrorist attacks in two thousand one. This increased security made it more difficult for students to get permits, or visas, to enter the United States. Security measures also increased the time to process these visas.

Debra Stewart is president of the Council of Graduate Schools. Miz Stewart said the federal government has made progress in improving the visa process for foreign graduate students. She said the process has been helped by small policy changes made by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department.

Miz Stewart noted that international competition for foreign graduate students is increasing. She said the United States must make sure the best students attend graduate schools in this country.

This VOA Special English Education report was written by Jerilyn Watson. Read and listen to our reports at I’m Steve Ember.