Annual Open Doors Report Shows more American Students coming to study in HK

The 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange released on Monday shows a total of 1,596 U.S. students came to Hong Kong to study in 2013/14, a 13.9 percent increase from the previous year.

“I am thrilled to learn there are more U.S. students choosing to study abroad in Hong Kong and benefit from the many academic opportunities here,” said Clifford A. Hart, Jr., U.S. Consul General of Hong Kong and Macau. “Educational exchanges like these are vital to increasing academic and professional ties between our two economies, and the United States is happy to host the nearly 9,000 students from Hong Kong and Macau who decide to pursue studies at U.S. universities.”

Asia continues to be an increasingly popular study abroad destination for U.S. students studying for academic credit at their home university in the United States. While ten years ago only 6.9 percent of all U.S. students studying abroad studied in Asia, in the 2013/14 academic year, Asia was the destination of 11.9 percent of all U.S. students studying abroad. While study abroad by American students has more than tripled in the last two decades, reaching a new high of 304,467, still only about 10 percent of U.S. students study abroad before graduating from college.

According to the report, the number of U.S. students studying abroad increased by five percent in 2013/14, the highest rate of growth since before the 2008 economic downturn. On the other hand, the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities had the highest rate of growth in 35 years, increasing by ten percent to a record high of 974,926 students in the 2014/15 academic year. This strong growth confirms that the United States remains the destination of choice in higher education.

Hong Kong is the 20th overall place of origin among all international students in the United States, with 8,012 students from Hong Kong studying at U.S. institutes of higher education in 2014/15. This is largely flat compared to the 2013/14 academic year, with a slight decrease of 1.1 percent compared to the 8,104 Hong Kong students studying in the United States last year. For place of origin among all undergraduate students studying in the United States, Hong Kong ranked 12th overall, just ahead of Indonesia, with 5,659 students.

Most students studying in the United States from Hong Kong are choosing to study at the undergraduate level, with 5,869 students – or 72.8 percent of all Hong Kong students in the United States – enrolled in undergrad programs. However, the number of Hong Kong graduate students also grew by 3 percent this year, to a total of 1,028 students in 2014/15. The number of Hong Kong students pursuing non-degree programs and optional practical training (OPT) also grew by 4.1 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, with 510 students enrolled in short-term or English language programs, and 815 Hong Kong students in OPT.

The United States hosts more of the world’s 4.5 million globally mobile college and university students than any other country in the world, almost double the number hosted by the United Kingdom, the second leading host country. In 2014/15, there were 88,874 more international students enrolled in U.S. higher education compared to the previous year.

While Mainland China remains by far the top country of origin of international students in the U.S., increasing by 11 percent to 304,040, India’s growth outpaced China’s this year, with students from India increasing by 29.4 percent to a record high of 132,888. In 2014/15, China and India together accounted for 67 percent of the total increase in international students, and they now constitute nearly 45 percent of the total number of international students in U.S. higher education.

The Open Doors® report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The release of the new Open Doors data marks the celebration of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

“We are excited to see that record numbers of students are taking advantage of international education opportunities, and we applaud the efforts of U.S. higher education as we work together to increase the number of American students who study abroad,” said Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “It is critical that we continue to make study abroad more accessible. These exchanges strengthen ties between the United States and countries around the world. By increasing accessibility to study abroad, we are investing in our future and providing a forum to solve global challenges.”

“International experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education,” said IIE’s President Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “Studying abroad is one of the best ways undergraduate and graduate students gain the international experience necessary to succeed in today’s global workforce. And studying in another country prepares students to be real contributors to working across borders to address key issues in the world we share.”

There are now 73 percent more international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities than were reported a decade ago and the rate of increase has risen steadily for the past five years. International students now constitute almost five percent of the more than 20 million students enrolled in U.S. higher education, up from around four percent in previous years.

For the full report, please click here: Open Doors

For further inquiry, please contact Katherine Harbin, Public Diplomacy Officer U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau, at (852) 2841-2265 or