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Number of Iraqi Students at U.S. Universities Increases by More than 45 Percent

The number of Iraqi students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education in the 2010-11 academic year increased from 423 to 616 students, a 45.6 percent increase compared to the previous year.  This represents the largest annual increase and the most Iraqi students studying at U.S. universities since the late 1980s. * Iraq and the United States are cooperating closely on exchanges and education under the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement.

 The number of Iraqi students studying for both undergraduate (190) and graduate (268) degrees at U.S. universities increased from 2009-2010 (138 and 200 respectively).  Additionally, the number of students attending intensive English language programs (131 this year, 87 last year), and specialized post-graduate training programs (27 this year, 0 last year) both continued to increase.

According to Charles F. Hunter, the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, “This increase shows that qualified Iraqi students can apply and get accepted to U.S. universities and receive world-class training in their fields of study.  U.S. universities eagerly welcome Iraqi students, and the education adviser at the embassy will assist students through every step of the application process.”
 
Globally during the 2010-2011 academic year, the total number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 5% to 723,277, a record high. 

This week, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is participating in International Education week.  Iraqi students interested in studying in the United States can find more information about educational opportunities in the United States through the following activities: 

• Iraqi students studying in the United States will share their experiences on Facebook from November 14-19 at: http://www.facebook.com/StudyUSAIraq
• More than 130 U.S. universities will be online as part of the EducationUSA Virtual College Fair on Tuesday, November 15th from 17:00 to 22:00 to give presentations and chat with students:  http://iraq.usembassy.gov/
• On Friday, November 18th from 13:00 to 15:00 the Embassy’s Education Adviser and a Foreign Service Officer working on exchange programs will host a live Facebook chat:  http://www.facebook.com/studyusairaq/


*These statistics come from the Open Doors annual report on international academic mobility published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), with support from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.  See:  www.iie.org/opendoors