The annual Open Doors Report is published today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). The report shows that international student enrollment at the University of Iowa continues to grow in line with national trends, but is substantially ahead in areas such as international undergraduate student enrollment. While international student enrollment grew by 8% nationally, at the University of Iowa we saw an increase of 10.5% last fall, with an impressive increase of about 40% at the undergraduate level. The data Open Doors data is from fall 2008.
This growth is part of a concerted recruitment effort, launched in 2007 and enhanced even further this fall. Our recruiting campaign this year covered the Middle East, India, East and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. International students come here to receive a world-class education. They also benefit Iowa economically, add a significant element of diversity to our campus and will return home as alums and ambassadors for the University of Iowa abroad.
In addition to reaching out to international students, we are sending more UI students abroad than ever before. The number of UI students studying abroad last year increased by over 5%. Almost 20% of the current graduating class studied abroad. We would like to increase that figure significantly in the coming years. Study abroad is one of a handful of activities that has been shown to have a significant impact on student success, as measured by graduation rates, even among students who are not the best prepared for college. This is one reason the expansion of study abroad is a priority. We are very pleased to be able to offer student more varied types of study abroad experiences than ever before, and ones that are adapted to all areas of study from engineering to business and the arts. 60% of undergraduates studying abroad were residents of Iowa, and 9.2% of these were minority students. Both proportions are very much in line with the general UI undergraduate population.
In IP, we are proud to be able to contribute to the enhanced internationalization of the University of Iowa.