KUALA LUMPUR: The US saw a 5.3% increase in the number of Malaysian students enrolled at its colleges and universities during the 2016/2017 academic year.
The 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange said the number of Malaysian students there rose to 8,247 this year.
US ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir said the growth confirmed that the US remains the destination of choice for higher education.
“The US offers international students a welcoming and stimulating multicultural environment, both in the classroom and in the broader community.
“Other advantages include numerous research opportunities and the responsiveness, innovation and flexibility of an educational system that allows for cross-disciplinary academic work and encourages independent thinking and analysis,” she said in a statement yesterday.
Malaysia is the 21st leading country of origin with students pursuing tertiary education in the US.
Of the Malaysian students in the US, 67.7% enrolled at the undergraduate level, 15.4% at the graduate level and 2.7% in non-degree programmes, while 14.3% signed up for optional practical training.
“For the past nine years, Malaysian student enrolment in the US has increased steadily with enrolment numbers growing rapidly in the past three years,” Kamala said.
This year, Malaysia saw a significant increase in student enrolment in US non-degree programmes, with 68.7% growth in that category, and an 18.3% increase in the number of Malaysian students pursuing optional practical training.
The Open Doors report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the US Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.