OCTOBER 23, 1957
NEW YORK—I got some interesting statistics the other day on the number of foreign students who came to the United States to study during the academic year of 1956-57. The Institute of International Education released these figures.
Forty thousand students from 136 foreign countries studied here. Almost a third came from the Far East. More than a fifth came from neighboring Latin American countries. Canada sent the greatest number from any one country. China came next and then Korea.
Men generally outnumbered women three to one, and coming from the Middle and Far East were far more men than women, except for those from the Philippines, where the women just topped the number of men.
The subjects these students studied reflected to a great extent the needs of their countries. The Far and Middle East scholars majored heavily in engineering, with the humanities and social science students in second and third place, respectively. The Europeans and Canadians preferred the humanities, with engineering a close second.
More and more of our colleges and universities are opening their doors to foreign students, but the actual exchange seems to be concentrated in 10 states. The students we send abroad come from New York, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Indiana and Minnesota.
There were some interesting figures, too, in the field of exchange professors. More than 11,000 foreign professors representing 61 nations were teaching in American colleges and universities in 1956-57, while almost 7,000 foreign doctors were training as internees or residents in hospitals throughout the nation. In a veterans hospital I visited in St. Louis, I met one of these doctors and he seemed interested in the work he was doing.
These exchanges are, I think, very valuable to us, and I am sure a great many of the professors we send to Europe find their time spent there profitable. Lately we have sent many of them to India and other Far Eastern countries, and I am sure this has been valuable, too.
There is another field in which our scientists are being used on short-term projects, either by the United Nations' technical assistance program or in some project of the specialized agencies, such as food and agriculture or world health.
I think we should make use both of visiting professors in this country and/or our own who go abroad and return to enlighten us as to world conditions and to acquaint us with the day-to-day work of the U.N. which we are apt to forget.
Last Friday I was back in Missouri, speaking at Cape Girardeau for the Teachers Association. But I returned to New York by Saturday, as I had a busy afternoon. Among other things, I was glad to greet my old friend, Sir Campbell Stuart, whom Major Harry Hooker brought to luncheon.