January 27, 2003 Vol. VII, No. 8

International Student Population Sets News Campus Record

Northridge Ranks 14th Nationally Among Master's-Level Universities and Keeps Growing

Highlighting the university's exceptional diversity, Cal State Northridge once again has ranked among the top 20 master's-level universities in the United States in hosting students from other countries. Japan has become more prominent as CSUN's largest sending nation while business continues as the most popular major among international students.

Cal State Northridge ranked 14th among hundreds of master's-level universities nationwide with 1,264 international students from nearly 100 countries for the 200102 school year. Then for the current 200203 year, despite world tensions, CSUN's international student population grew nearly 19 percent to 1,502 students, a new campus record.

"This is very good news for us. We've set a new record and our international students help bring a richness of experience and perspective to the entire university," said John Charles, assistant director of CSUN's Office of Student Development and International Programs. Charles predicted, however, that CSUN's international student population likely has reached its peak.

CSUN's national ranking is based on the "Open Doors 2002" report issued in November 2002 by the Institute of International Education with support from the U.S. State Department. CSUN year-to-year consistently places among the top 20 master's-level universities, but moved up in the latest report from being ranked 17th for 200001 with 1,081 students.

Nationally, "Open Doors 2002" said the number of international students attending U.S. colleges and universities grew by 6.4 percent in 200102 to 582,996 students, also a new record. The report said international students annually contribute nearly $12 billion to the U.S. economy, making higher education this country's fifth largest service sector export.

Locally, California continued as the leading host state for international students with 78,741, up 6 percent for the year. Los Angeles hosts the second largest population behind New York among metropolitan areas with 28,573 international students. And USC became the nation's largest host university with 5,950 international students in 200102.

Although numbers of Japanese students in the U.S. have been flat lately, Japan widened its already substantial lead as CSUN's largest country of origin for fall 2002. CSUN this school year is hosting 275 Japanese students, up 22 percent from 226 students a year earlier and 192 students two years ago. The 275 are 20 percent of CSUN's international student population.

Chiharu Nishiura, a senior majoring in communication studies and deaf studies, said she transferred to CSUN from Santa Monica College in fall 2001 because her community college professor had recommended CSUN for its high-caliber communications programs, and because she heard good things from Japanese friends who had already transferred to Northridge.

"I have had great experiences at CSUN. CSUN changed my whole life in a good way," said Nishiura, who has been studying sign language and wants to work as an interpreter after returning to Japan. By coming to CSUN, Nishiura said she had the opportunity to learn American Sign Language, which has helped shape her future career goal.

Studying at CSUN also helped broaden Nishiura's cultural horizons, by participating in a CSUN class that works with students at Grant High School to resolve cultural and racial differences. "Those experiences opened up my life and made me think what it means to be a Japanese and what I can do as a Japanese," she said.

After Japan, Korea ranked as CSUN's second largest source of international students with 109 in fall 2002, followed by India (75), Mexico (70), Taiwan (66), Indonesia (64), and China (58). The largest increase among those countries occurred with students from Mexico, who increased 59 percent from 44 students the year before.

For CSUN international students' choice of academic programs, business remained the most popular major with 417 students, or about 31 percent. Computer science was next with 146 students (11 percent), followed by engineering with 122 students (9 percent). Next in line were cinema-television-arts with 72, and art and psychology with 63 majors each.

2001-02 Top Master's-Level University International Student Enrollments
Rank Institution LocationIntl. Students
1 CUNY Baruch CollegeNew York, NY3,043
2San Francisco StateSan Francisco, CA2,566
3Cal State Long BeachLong Beach, CA 2,266
4Univ. of Texas at El PasoEl Paso, TX2,054
5Hawaii Pacific UniversityHonolulu, HI1,851
6University of BridgeportBridgeport, CT1,594
7Univ. of Central OklahomaEdmond, OK1,522
8Cal State HaywardHayward, CA1,480
9CUNY City CollegeNew York, NY1,475
10San Jose StateSan Jose, CA1,471
11Rochester Inst. of Tech.Rochester, NY1,433
12Cal State FullertonFullerton, CA1,350
13Eastern Michigan UniversityYpsilanti, MI1,304
14Cal State NorthridgeNorthridge, CA1,264
15Strayer CollegeWashington, DC1,204
16Univ. of Nevada - Las VegasLas Vegas, NV1,198
17D'Youville CollegeBuffalo, NY1,122
18Oklahoma City UniversityOklahoma City, OK1,016
19N.Y. Inst. of Tech. Main CampusOld Westbury, NY1,016
20Cal Poly PomonaPomona, CA 1,016

@csun | January 27, 2003 issue
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