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World-ranked universities with the most international students

Not one US university in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16 has more than 35 per cent international students, contrasting with institutions in Asia, Oceania and Europe.

An analysis of universities in the rankings shows that 16 of the 30 universities with the highest percentage of international students are in the UK, seven are elsewhere in Europe and four are in Australia or New Zealand.

This may well come as a surprise, since the US has long been a popular destination for teenagers looking to study abroad.

The US was home to more than 800,000 foreign students in 2013-14, but it seems that overseas students spread themselves relatively thinly across different institutions.

Foreign students may be outnumbered at institutions within the US, but the US is represented in the top 30 for international students by the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, which has the highest proportion out of all the ranked universities at 82 per cent.

Close behind is the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK, with 70 per cent. The international community at the LSE currently counts 150 different nationalities among its numbers.

Switzerland has three universities with a high percentage of international students, partly due to bilingual campuses and low tuition fees even for non-European Union nationals.

Percentage of international students at top-200 universities, by country

Of all the 147 American universities ranked in the World University Rankings, not a single institution makes it into the top 30 for international students.

The top American university for international students is Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It sits at position 37 with just under 35 per cent international students.

Imperial College London, with its strengths in science and engineering, is the highest ranked university that appears in the top 30 for international students. It ranks eighth in the world overall, and sixth for percentage of foreign students.

Universities by per cent of international students:

Times Higher Education