This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
More than five hundred sixty thousand foreign students attended an American college or university during the last school year. It was the seventh straight year with more than half a million international students in the United States.
Last year's group was about the same size as the year before -- which was good news for schools. Why? Because the number of students coming to the United States had been falling for two years.
Today, in our Foreign Student Series, we present numbers from the latest "Open Doors" report. The information is from the Institute of International Education, based in New York.
India again sent the most students in the school year that began in autumn of two thousand five. India passed China in two thousand one as the leading sender of foreign students to the United States.
American schools last year had more than seventy-six thousand Indian students. That was a five percent drop from the year before -- the first reduction since nineteen ninety-six.
China had more than sixty-two thousand students in American schools, roughly the same as the year before.
South Korea was third with an increase of ten percent. And Japan was fourth -- but with an eight percent drop.
The report says there were also sharp decreases in students from Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan and Malaysia. But there were notable increases in students from Nepal and Vietnam.
For the fifth year, the school with the most foreign students was the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. It had almost seven thousand.
Columbia University in New York was second. Others with large numbers included Purdue, New York University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
What were the most popular areas of study? Eighteen percent studied business and management. Sixteen percent studied engineering. Nine percent were in the physical and life sciences. Eight percent studied social sciences, and another eight percent studied mathematics and computer science.
There were fewer international students in computer science and engineering last year. But there were more in areas including art, health and intensive English language.
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. For the full "Open Doors" report, you can find a link to the IIE Web site at WWW.51VOA.COM. Our Foreign Student Series is also there. I'm Steve Ember.