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SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.


Contact: William Morris
phone: (415) 405-3606

The number of international students at SF State increases by 9% to reach all-time high

Pacific Rim countries dominate the top 10 countries of origin; India shows 70% one-year increase.

SAN FRANCISCO, August 17, 2001 -- The number of international students working on a degree program at San Francisco State University reached an all-time high during the spring semester as 2,005 overseas students took classes on campus, a 9 percent increase from the year before.

The jump illustrates how San Francisco State has become an increasingly attractive option for international students. They have more than doubled their presence on campus since 1994, and now represent 107 different countries of origin. India showed the largest one-year increase, jumping by 70%.

While San Francisco State recruits students through overseas job fairs, articulation agreements with partner institutions in their country of origin, and visits to Bay Area community colleges, the students themselves help drive the enrollment increase.

"Word of mouth is the best tool for recruiting international students," said Yenbo Wu, director of the office of international programs. "Our international alumni are saying good things about their education at San Francisco State, which reflects well on the institution, and is the most powerful tool we have in attracting more students."

Wu also said that the two most important factors in attracting international alumni are the University's location in San Francisco and its reputation of providing a comprehensive, quality education. "The University's reputation is built on its excellent academic program, and the support services it provides international students," he said.

Sul-gi Kim, a student from Tokyo studying film, agrees that support services for international students are part of the reason to attend the University. "The international student advisors were so helpful," he said. "The orientation was also very helpful. It is very intensive-two weeks-but I highly recommend it. None of the other colleges I applied to had something so intensive."

The University has become a destination for students from Asia. Last spring, 73 percent of the international students on campus came from an Asian country. Japan still tops the list with 393 students, as it has since the University began tracking countries of origin in 1994. Two countries showed significant increases in a one-year period. India showed a 70 percent increase from spring 2000 as the number of students jumped from 37 to 63. The number of students from the People's Republic of China jump ed to 151 from 131, a 15 percent increase.

Wu believes that the increase in international students from these two countries can be attributed, in part, to the fast developing markets in these nations that increases the number of students who are able to pay for an overseas education.

Business administration, with 345 students is by far the most popular field of study, followed by computer science with 160 students, and computer information systems with 145 students.

A total of 711 international graduate students are taking advantage of the University's advanced degree programs. In fact, graduate students from China outnumber undergrads from China-86 to 65.

The University has long been a national leader in the number of international students on campus. A year 2000 report by the Institute of International Education ranks San Francisco State third in the number of international students studying at master's degree granting institutions in the United States for the 1999/00 academic year.

SFSU International Students, Spring 2001

Top Ten Countries of Origin (number of students)

  1. Japan (393)
  2. Taiwan (286)
  3. People's Republic of China (151)
  4. Indonesia (145)
  5. South Korea (286)
  6. Hong Kong (99)
  7. Thailand (67)
  8. India (63)
  9. Sweden (54)
  10. Turkey (47)

The fourth largest campus in the 23-campus California State University system, SFSU was founded in 1899 and today is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public and urban university of nearly 27,000 students.

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SFSU, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132
Last modified August 21, 2001, by Office of Public Affairs