Governor Cuomo Announces New York State Ranked First in the Northeast and Second in the Nation for Hosting International Students

December 5, 2013

From the office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.


New York universities and colleges hosted more than 88,000 international students last year, underscoring potential of higher education to foster innovative start-ups

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State ranked first in the Northeast region and second in the nation in attracting international students in higher education, according to the “Open Doors Report” for 2013. This top ranking for attracting international talent underscores the important role that New York's colleges and universities play in fostering and supporting innovative business growth through the Governor's START-UP NY program.

“New York's colleges and universities are hubs of leading talent that are spurring innovation and training the next generation of international entrepreneurs,” Governor Cuomo said. “This report demonstrates how our institutions of higher education are fertile grounds for new businesses that require a diverse, world-class workforce in order to grow and prosper. We must continue to leverage these strengths, particularly through START-UP NY, to increase New York's competitiveness, grow the economy and create jobs.”

The Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the US Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, found that New York State welcomed 88,219 international students in 2012-13, an increase of 7.1 percent from the previous year. Three New York State universities — New York University, Columbia University and University at Buffalo-SUNY, rank in the top 20 of U.S. institutions for attracting international students. This impressive level matches first ranked California, and exceeds all other states. Other top ranked universities in New York State for international students include Cornell University and Stony Brook University-SUNY.

The leading five countries sending the most students to New York State include (first) China, (second) India, (third) South Korea, (fourth) Canada and (fifth), Taiwan.

New York's 178 public and private colleges and universities are key drivers of economic growth and opportunity in communities across the state. International students contributed over $2.8 billion to New York State's economy in 2012-13, and with their families, created or supported 35,211 net jobs. The START-UP NY program is designed to highlight this potential for growth by creating tax-free environments for start-up businesses alongside select colleges and universities.

The report was released on the heels of the Governor's designation of International Education Week for New York State, November 18-22, 2013, by Executive Proclamation. Further details from the Open Doors report may be found on the IIE

“Attracting international students to New York State directly benefits our educational, business and tourism economy and international students help make our communities more dynamic, diverse and globally competitive,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “I believe New York's success in attracting international students will continue to grow thanks to the creation of innovative university-based high technology hubs supported by the Governor's START-UP NY tax-free program and it's essential that we continue to work together with our partners in key initiatives such as Study New York to continue to attract the best and brightest from overseas.”

“The ability to attract talented students from around the world is a hallmark of the SUNY system and a testament to our state's diversity and Governor Cuomo's commitment to drawing the best and brightest to live, work, and prosper in New York,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “International students bring millions of dollars to New York's economy and the START-UP NY program is a strong incentive for this innovative, global student body to remain in New York and contribute to our culture and economic growth. SUNY is a national leader in international student recruitment and explicitly redirects a portion of international student tuition revenue to create scholarships for New York students to study abroad and improve their global skills. We will continue to ensure that our public university system remains a top choice for New York students as well as those nationally and abroad. Congratulations to the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University on this important recognition.”

Laura L. Anglin, President of the Commission on Independent College and Universities, said, “New York State continues to be a leading destination for international students. World-renowned colleges and universities, innovative programs, and cutting-edge research make New York State one of the most pursued places for higher education. New York's independent, private, not-for-profit colleges and universities—small and large—provide top-quality education and attract a large number of international students and researchers each year. This international presence provides awareness and appreciation for other cultures while adding to the rich campus and community life.”

Launched in 2009, the Study NY consortium was founded through the collective efforts of representatives from the New York State Governor's Office, Empire State Development, Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities, State University of New York, City University of New York, and the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote New York as the destination of choice for students from around the globe.

Recent examples of Study New York promotional efforts in the U.S. and overseas include: providing a gold sponsorship for the July 2013 20th anniversary Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling conference at Marist College, thereby reaching over 1,000 university/college admissions professionals from over 80 countries around the world and showcasing Hudson Valley tourism; convening Virtual Trade Fairs; supporting promotional booth displays at NAFSA conferences; hosting foreign delegations; participating in EducationUSA events and presenting to educational audiences overseas. The consortium's website,, continues to improve for effective outreach.

“Again this year, New York State excels at welcoming brilliant students, researchers and entrepreneurs from around the world,” said James M. Cox, Director of the Northeast Region for the US Department of Commerce. “The Study New York consortium, the largest such effort in the nation, continues to lead collaborative efforts to promote the State's unique educational assets to global markets and contributes to international student recruitment success. The growth of services exports in the higher education sector in New York and other states contributes to overall U.S. export success.”

“Since its creation four years ago, Study New York has been actively promoting New York State as the destination of choice for students from around the world,” said Alan Sabal, Board Chair of The City College of New York/CUNY. Study New York is reaching many more markets, education events and students than its over 70 member institutions could manage individually. This initiative's activities and resources offer essential information to prospective international students and their families about member colleges and universities in New York State regions and communities. All accredited public and private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York are eligible to join.”

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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