Educational exchanges can help Michigan grow

Muskegon Chronicle Editorial:

A lot of phrases come to mind when you think about Michigan these days, but leader in international education probably isn’t at the top of the list.
A new report, released during International Education Week, says the University of Michigan and Michigan State University are among the national leaders for educational exchange.
The Institute of International Education report, “Open Doors 2009,” listed the University of Michigan as sixth in the nation in the number of international students attending the university in 2008-09. U-M had 5,790 foreign students. The University of Southern California led with 7,482. MSU was 10th with 4,757 foreign students.
The state is ranked eighth in the nation with 23,617 foreign students studying at our colleges and universities, an increase of 3.3 percent. Joining U-M and MSU as leading host campuses are Wayne State, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan universities.
The foreign students spent about $592.4 million in Michigan on tuition and living expenses in 2008-09 — a half-billion dollars is nothing to sneeze at.
Overall, 671,616 international students attended U.S. colleges, up 8 percent from a year ago. The foreign students mainly chose business and engineering courses and California and New York City were their top destinations.
Most of the foreign students come from India followed by China, South Korea, Canada and Japan. But in Michigan, Chinese students make up 18 percent of the foreign students followed by India at 16.5 percent; South Korea, 12.5 percent; Canada, 12 percent; and Taiwan, 3.9 percent.