17 November 2010
The number of Americans studying at South African universities increased by 12.4 percent in the 2009/10 academic year, the United States embassy said this week, adding that the US hoped to increase student exchanges with South Africa still further.
According to the Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education, the number of US students at South African institutions rose from 3 700 to 4 160 in 2009/10.
There are more US students studying in South Africa than in any other sub-Saharan country.
“These are exciting numbers for South Africa,” said Clara Priester, Education USA’s regional director for East and Southern Africa, who is based at the US Consulate in Johannesburg.
“The 12 percent growth in American students in South Africa really highlights the strength of the higher education system here in this country, as well as the strong partnership between US and South African institutions of higher learning,” Priester said on Monday.
Priester said that the US was looking forward to increasing the number of US students who traveled to South Africa, as well as South Africans who studied in the US.
“It is exactly this type of exchange that strengthens friendship and understanding between nations.”
According to the Open Doors Report, the number of international students studying at accredited US institutions rose by 2.9 percent to 690 923 in the 2009/10 academic year, despite the global economic downturn.
Nigeria sent the most African students to the US for the second year running, followed by Kenya and Ghana. South Africa was in fourth place, sending 1 656 students to US colleges and universities, with Cameroon, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda rounding out the top 10.