International Freshmen Increases by 250 Percent


UCSD admitted the largest number of new international students ever this fall. The tuition an international student helps offset the recent state budget cuts.

Freshmen international students at UCSD have increased by 250 percent. Last year, only 100 freshmen were admitted — this year 350 were.

UCSD welcomed 1,300 new international students this year. Only 1,000 new students were admitted in 2010. The total number of undergraduate and graduate international students this year is 3,212 compared to last year’s 2,333 students.

“We didn’t think it would go up quite that high this year, but we weren’t surprised in the final analysis that it did,” Dean of International Education Lynn C. Anderson said.
Anderson said that given the budget cuts from state funding, the out-of-state tuition paid by international students helps the campus budget tremendously.

“Out-of-state students, whether they are residents of Minnesota, New York or China, pay out of state tuition and so they’re paying an additional $35,000 per year beyond what California residents would pay,” Anderson said.

This past year, approximately $35 million came from out-of-state tuition, $15 million of which accounted for the undergraduate enrollments. Another $35 million went to on- and off-campus housing, meals, services, gasoline, and entertainment.

Anderson said that UCSD’s 2012 rank as 8th best university in the country by U.S. News & World and 33rd in the world by Times Higher Education and Thomson Reuters, is a reason for the surge in international students.

“UC San Diego is highly regarded internationally and UC San Diego’s reputation as a world-class university continues to grow, so the large numbers of international students seeking admission is not surprising,” Anderson said in an email.

UCSD is not the only school with a larger population in international students this year. Anderson said other universities across the country are experiencing increases as well.

“I think that the U.S. and the Study in the States website is a good indication of how much better a job the United States is doing of talking about their higher educational programs for international students,” Anderson said.

Anderson said there is a plan to increase international students over the next four or five years before reaching a stable number. She said having international students on campus exposes undergraduate students to different cultures, different ways of thinking and different backgrounds.

To apply to a UC, freshman international students must have completed their secondary education and have earned a certificate of completion that would allow them to attend a university in their home country. They also must submit scores from the ACT with writing or the SAT Reasoning Test. Transfer international students must have completed at least 60 semester units of university credit to apply.

Both freshman and transfer students need to demonstrate their mastery of English if it is not their native language through either the Test of English as a Foreign Language or the International English Language Testing System.

International students do have difficulties adjusting to a different country and culture, according to Anderson. The education style, social interactions and community expectations are different from what most international students are used to and problems can occur because of these differences.

“Just as our UC San Diego students studying abroad bring new challenges to the campuses on which they are enrolled, international students at UC San Diego may cause challenges for those of us not used to interacting with people from another country,” Anderson said.

Anderson said international students do not displace California residents. The state funds a certain number of spots for California residents. The spots taken by international students would otherwise be unused.

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