Enrollment in graduate science and engineering (S&E) programs has risen to new levels, including greater percentages of non-White ethnic groups and women, according to a new National Science Foundation (NSF) report. The report says the recent growth toward ethnic and racial diversity represents the largest change in the demographic composition of S&E graduate students in the United States. White, non-Hispanic students accounted for 71 percent of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents enrolled in these programs in 2000, according to the report, but only 66 percent in 2007.
The NSF report also says that enrollment in U.S. S&E programs grew by about 3.3 percent in 2007, the largest annual growth rate since 2002, and almost double the 1.7 percent growth rate in 2006. The number of post-doctoral appointments at academic institutions also reached a new record, about 36,000, up from about 30,000 in 2001.
The proportion of men to women among U.S. citizens and permanent residents enrolled in U.S. S&E programs was divided 52 percent to 48 percent, and among foreign students men outnumbered women 66 percent to 34 percent. U.S. citizens and permanent residents represented the majority of graduate students, according to the report, but the majority of postdoctoral appoints, 58 percent, were given to temporary visa holders.
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