More than 800,000 international students studied at U.S. colleges and universities last year, a record high fueled largely by an influx of young scholars from China, U.S. data released on Monday showed.
That is a 7 percent increase—or 55,000 students—from the 2011 academic year, according to annual findings from the Institute of International Education and the U.S. Department of State's annual "Open Doors'' report.
Much of the growth was driven by undergraduates from China, which already sends the most students to the United States, officials said. The number of students from Saudi Arabia also grew.
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"Both total enrollment and new enrollment had slowed after the economic slowdown in 2007/08, and both have now rebounded to previous high rates of growth,'' the report said, highlighting the impact of the recent U.S. recession that officially ran from 2007 to 2009, but has still left an impact.