The number of Taiwanese students at US universities totaled 24,818 in the 2010-2011 academic year, marking a 7 percent decline from the previous year, the Ministry of Education said on Sunday.
However, despite the drop, Taiwan still ranked as the fifth-largest source of foreign students in the US, the ministry said, citing a recent report by the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE).
The number of foreign university students in the US in 2010-2011 was 723,277, an increase of 4.7 percent from a year earlier, with China, India, South Korea, Canada and Taiwan being the top five sources of students, the IIE reported.
The IIE data showed that China, which overtook India last year as the US’ largest source of foreign students, remained in top position with 157,558 students, up 23.5 percent from the previous year.
Among the top five foreign countries, which together accounted for more than half of all international students in US universities, enrollments from South Korea increased by 1.7 percent. However, enrollment dropped 1 percent among students from India, 2.1 percent among those from Canada and 7 percent among students from Taiwan, the report said.
The University of Southern California enrolled the highest number of international students (8,615), followed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York University, Purdue University and Columbia University.
Business and management was the most popular major among international students, followed by engineering, mathematics and computer science, the data showed.
In terms of US states, California had the most foreign students, followed by New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Illinois.