WPI Advances to Second of Doctoral Universities Sending Students Abroad

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Washington, D.C. -- WPI ranked second in percentage of students studying abroad among doctoral universities in the U.S., it was announced today by the Institute of International Education (IIE). WPI had 251 students study abroad in 1998/99 for a participation rate of 31 percent. Darmouth College ranked first.

IIE's Open Doors 2000 reports that the total number of U.S. students receiving credit for study abroad jumped 14 percent from the previous year, reaching a total of 129,770, while the number of international students attending colleges and universities in the U.S. increased by five percent to a record total of 514,723. Another trend reported in this year's report is an increase in students studying in the business and technical fields.

WPI's participation rate for study abroad in 1997/98 was 18.3 percent (eighth place) and the percentage for next year is anticipated to be more than 33 percent.

WPI's Global Perspective Program is unique among American universities in its design, scope, objectives and outcomes. Over the last 25 years the university, with an undergraduate population of 2,700, has sent more than 3,600 students to dozens of sites around the globe.

Paul W. Davis, dean of interdisciplinary and global studies at WPI, notes that "WPI's Global Perspective Program challenges teams of students to solve compelling problems in seven-week assignment with sponsors at our network of international project centers. The outcomes of these projects make a real difference to individuals, organizations, and society at large. We are pleased to see that this time-tested, innovative approach places WPI among the leaders in international education in the U.S."

The Open Doors 2000 report, funded by the U.S. Department of State, includes extensive data and analysis on foreign student enrollment and American students studying abroad, the economic impact of foreign students on the U.S. economy and more. Highlights are available at www.Opendoorsweb.org

IIE president Allan E. Goodman notes that "since international experience is so critical to young professionals today and to our national interest, the Institute of International Education is committed to working with colleges, sponsors and students themselves to double the number of Americans that study abroad."