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ASU the No. 1 public university in US for hosting international students

Ranking reflects ASU’s enduring commitment to global education


A group of people smile for a group photo, some of them holding up a pitchfork gesture
November 14, 2022

Arizona State University is the top public university chosen by international students, according to the influential 2022 Institute of International Education Open Doors Report. This is the second consecutive year ASU has earned this top spot — a distinction it has held for five of the past seven academic years.

A total of 15,293 international students made ASU their collegiate home in the 2021–22 academic year, a dramatic 17.5% increase from the 2020–21 academic year, when ASU ranked as the top public university with 13,015 international students. 

The university is the nation's fifth largest for hosting international students, behind only private universities New York University, Northeastern University, Columbia University and the University of Southern California, in that order.

“We are incredibly proud to be the No. 1 public university for hosting international students as it represents the focused support that colleagues across ASU have worked so diligently to provide for our international students,” said Kent Hopkins, vice president of ASU’s Academic Enterprise Enrollment. “And our commitment to fostering a rich and welcoming environment benefits our entire academic community. When students from Arizona, across the U.S. and around the world learn together and from each other, they develop the global perspective that is needed to succeed in our interconnected world.” 

A complexity facing international student enrollment at U.S. universities in the past two years has been uncertainty felt by families regarding international travel in a post-pandemic world. An advantage that contributed to ASU’s international student growth was the global nature of ASU’s admissions team, with staff positioned around the world. When international travel fully resumed in July, admissions leadership and faculty members intensified international visits to students’ home countries. 

ASU also enabled some students to begin or continue their ASU academic experience through remote learning in the 2021–22 academic year. And once these students were able to return to the U.S. and ASU campuses, the International Students and Scholars Center offered an expanded set of programs to ensure an active on-campus experience for international students.

Maoxuan Feng, a second-year psychology and mechanical engineering student from Weifang, Shandong, China, came to ASU in part because of the support ASU provided.

“ASU was much more responsive and easier to communicate with, especially during the pandemic,” Feng said. “As an international student, I found that the amount of support that ASU offers is impressive. From all kinds of cultural events to student groups, you'll always be able to find your own culture and have opportunities to meet others as well.”

ASU’s reputation for academic excellence and innovation continues to be a major catalyst for the university’s international enrollment growth, with students joining the university from a total of 158 countries. 

“As a global university, ASU offers a portfolio of career-relevant degrees taught by a faculty of experts, many of whom are globally recognized scholars and leaders in their respective fields,” said Executive Vice President and University Provost Nancy Gonzales. “Our top public university distinction is evidence of our global reputation for preparing graduates for successful careers that contribute to the solutions our world requires.”

An indicator of ASU’s reputation among international students for its career preparation is the increase in international graduate student enrollment, which totaled 5,537 international graduate students in the 2021–22 academic year, a 52.4% increase from 3,632 in the 202021 academic year.

“ASU is ranked in first position for innovation, and it is also in the top 10 universities in the U.S. for my major,” said Bharath Yogesh, a master's student in construction management and technology from Bangalore, India. “The course structure for my major is impressive, and I found exactly what I wanted for my master’s. Career fairs and student clubs help me build my network and more connections from the industry. My goals post-graduation will be to get hands-on experience from the industry.”

The figures published in the 2022 IIE Open Doors Report are based on the number of international students enrolled in coursework at institutions across the U.S. during the 2021–22 academic year and also include recent alumni participating in Optional Practical Training. OPT is a 12-month work authorization available to F-1 international students who have been full-time students for at least two consecutive semesters and plan to seek employment in the U.S. in their fields of study.

One such student is Tanvi Pratap Raorane from Mumbai, India, who earned a master’s degree in business data analytics and currently serves as a vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

“ASU has been the primary catalyst in my career,” Raorane said. “As an international graduate student, I have benefited beyond earning a degree from the university. ASU resources and career services are student-centric and constantly evolving according to the student dynamics. I have received tremendous support from the faculty and staff here at ASU, which makes me successful in my banking career today.

“The university understands the cultural and professional differences of their international student population, and provides extended support to ensure our journeys are smooth. I owe a lot to ASU for shaping my career in the United States.”

Top photo: Student leaders of ASU's Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) pose for a group photo during International Graduate Welcome at Desert Financial Arena on the Tempe campus on Aug. 12: (kneeling) Florian A. Schneider, GPSA president from Germany, earning his doctorate in sustainability; (standing, from left) Siddharth Gianchandani, a graduate teaching associate from India, earning his doctorate in computer science; Pooja Chitre, GPSA director of international student affairs, a doctoral student in human and social dimensions of science and technology from India; Prashamsa Thapa, a graduate teaching associate from Nepal, earning her doctorate in innovation for global development; Kelsey Vourazeris, GPSA director of events, a doctoral student in business administration (agribusiness) from Brentwood, Tennessee; and Sandra Wood, a graduate teaching associate from Ghana, earning her doctorate in communication. Photo by Enrique Lopez

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