The 5,357 international students who attended the University at Buffalo in the 2011-12 academic year and their dependents contributed approximately $108,419,700 to the Western New York economy, according to the 2012 report issued by NAFSA: Association of International Educators this week.
Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education at UB, said, "We are very, very pleased that so many highly talented students from around the world choose UB for their studies, and are grateful for the considerable economic benefit they offer to local businesses and communities.
"Although this report focuses on their fiscal impact, international students also greatly enrich the cultural life of our campuses and, through out-of-state tuition largely funded by non-U.S. sources, provide financial support for on-campus programming for all our students," he added.
"They also bring important global perspectives into American classrooms," Dunnett said, "and help build strong and lasting bridges between their countries and cultures that benefit the U.S. in ways too numerous to cite here."
In addition to UB, 15 other higher education institutions in Western New York enrolled a total of 2,148 international students in 2011-12, with an economic contribution to the region of $70,291,000.
Those institutions are Daemen College, Erie Community College, Genesee Community College, Niagara County Community College, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY at Geneseo, Canisius College, D'Youville College, Hilbert College, Jamestown Community College, Buffalo State College, SUNY at Fredonia, Trocaire College, Villa Maria College of Buffalo and Niagara University.
NAFSA arrived at its economic contribution data by adding tuition and fees paid by a school's international students in 2011-12 ($71,519,200 in the case of UB) and living expenses of students and dependents ($89,966,400 for UB), then deducting financial support provided to the students by the U.S. ($53,095,800 for UB).
In estimating the economic contribution of international students to Western New York, NAFSA said the analysis does not rely on a multiplier effect because, although it might provide a more accurate estimate of actual economic impact, there is no consensus on the appropriate size of such a multiplier
Therefore figures are conservative.
It derives information from enrollment figures from the Institute of International Education's "Open Doors 2012" report; tuition figures from Wintergreen Orchard House, a major database compiler, provider and publisher of educational data, which provides cost figures for tuition, living and miscellaneous expenses at U.S. colleges and universities for the 2011-12 academic year; and overall analysis of the data by Jason Baumgartner, director for information services at the Indiana University, Bloomington, Office of International Services.