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International students contributed $108.5 million to Hawaii economy

By Craig Gima

LAST UPDATED: 01:20 a.m. HST, Nov 12, 2013

International students contributed $108.5 million to Hawaii's economy in tuition and living expenses in the 2012/13 academic year, according to an annual report released Monday.

The number of international students attending college here and the amount of money is up slightly from last year, according to the Open Doors study from the Institute of International Education.

This year, the report estimates there are 4,450 international students studying here. In 2012, there were 4,446 students, who spent $107.1 million.

Nationally, the institute said the number of international students, led by a 21 percent increase in students from China, reached record levels. About 819,644 foreign students contributed an estimated $24 billion to the U.S. economy.

The influx of Chinese students seems to be mostly bypassing Hawaii's colleges. The numbers of Chinese students coming here remained relatively stable. They make up about 7.6 percent of the foreign students in Hawaii.

The largest numbers of international students studying here are from Japan, 20.9 percent, followed by South Korea, 13.7 percent; China, 7.6 percent; Norway 4.7 percent, and Taiwan 4.1 percent.

Nationally, China sends the most students to the U.S., followed by India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

The University of Hawaii Manoa had the largest number of foreign students with 1,303; followed by Brigham Young University Hawaii, 1046; Hawaii Pacific University, 937; Kapiolani Community College, 702; and UH Hilo, 182.

BYUH attracted the most foreign students among baccalaureate institutions. KCC, HPU and UH Hilo were also cited as among the top 40 institutions with international student enrollment among their peer groups.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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palani wrote:
If only they were gay, the amount would be much higher, at least according to the hype.
on November 11,2013 | 11:39AM
localguy wrote:
palani - Was there a point to your shibai comment? Must have been lost in translation. Time to go thump that bible?
on November 11,2013 | 12:27PM
allie wrote:
yikes! But I do know UH is under pressure to take more mainland and international students so as to help the balance of payments and help the economy.
on November 11,2013 | 12:30PM
sooregonian wrote:
We can expect a reduction in international students -- excepting maybe BYU -- as traditional families in conservative Asian countries decide that the homeless haven (and now gay mecca) that is Hawaii is NOT the best learning environment for their kids.
on November 11,2013 | 04:35PM
eoe wrote:
Let me know how that works out for you.
on November 21,2013 | 06:52AM
roninsensei wrote:
Why are there two identical ESL programs on the UH Manoa campus in NICE and HELP when one will suffice? Check it out for yourselves. Talk about redundant programs, a waste of money, and typical UH fiscal mismanagement. Some influential UH Administrator's good friends or relatives are obviously being kept employed here.
on November 24,2013 | 11:14PM
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