The University of Wisconsin is now ranked nineteenth among U.S. universities in numbers of international students and fourth in study abroad participation, according to the 2021 Open Doors Report.

The director of UW International Academic Programs Dan Gold said in a UW article the increase in rankings reflects UW’s excellence and its commitment to the international experience.

The Open Doors Report tracks trends on international students and U.S. students studying abroad. It is published by the Institute of International Education in conjunction with the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

UW had 7,139 international students in the 2020-21 academic cycle, causing it to jump from 24 to 19 in the rankings, despite actually having fewer international students than in the 2019-2020 cycle, according to the Open Doors Report.

The number of international students in the U.S. has been steadily increasing since 1960. Since the 2010-2011 academic cycle, international enrollment at UW has grown 53.6%.

On average, international students pay about $500 more per semester than out-of-state U.S. students, according to UW International Division communication director Steve Barcus said in an email statement.

According to Barcus, international students are crucial to the university.

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“International students are an important part of the UW–Madison community,” Barcus said. “They contribute valuable perspectives, engage in critical research and form powerful bonds with fellow Badgers.”

UW also jumped from 15 to the fourth spot in the number of students studying abroad.

UW attributed this overall decrease to the effect COVID-19 restrictions have had on international travel. Across the nation, the total number of international students in the U.S. had decreased during the pandemic.

UW is taking a cautious approach to re-engage with exchange programs in order to ensure student safety while global conditions continue to change, Vice Provost and Dean of the UW International Division Guido Podestá said in the UW article. UW will review all programs on a case-by-case basis before determining if they should be reopened to students.

Barcus said he anticipates continued international recruitment with a new chancellor.

“I anticipate that the next chancellor of UW–Madison will continue to recognize the tremendous positive impact international students have on UW–Madison and will continue to recognize their importance and provide a welcoming environment — following the example of our current and past university leaders,” Barcus said.