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After years of decline, the number of foreign first-year students in US graduate education in science and engineering rose again in 2005. This is one of the findings of a report by the reputed National Science Foundation (NFS), a US government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering.
Overall, the number of all graduate students enrolled in science and engineering in the US rose to an all-time high (of close to 479 000), although the increase over 2004 was only 0.5 percent. Since reaching its peak in 2001, overall foreign graduate enrolment in these areas dropped by 6%, thus reducing the share of foreign students among all graduates from 31 to 29 percent. In a longer-term perspective (1995 to 2005), however, foreign enrolment rose much more markedly than domestic enrolment (41 compared to 5 percent). Now, for the first time since 2001, foreign first-year student numbers rose again compared to 2004, by a solid 4 percent. The sub-segment of foreign postdocs also rose, by 2.1%. The NFS data are consistent with survey findings of the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), according to which the post-9/11 decline in the number of international students in the US is now being reversed.CGS press release