Graduate schools in America have been admitting international students at the fastest rate in over five years, up 11% in the last 12 months, according to data from the Council of Graduate Schools.

During the last decade after the 9/11 attacks, foreign student admissions dropped drastically and the recovery from this sharp dip has taken several years.

The increase in admissions for 2011 is the steepest one-year increase since 2006 and is being welcomed by American campuses.

The information shows that students from China increasingly want to study in the United States and are being granted visas to do so. Admissions are up 23% for Chinese students.

India is the second largest group of foreign students studying in the country, with offers up by 8%, the first increase since 2007. Their numbers fell by 5% in 2010 and 14% in 2009.

There is also an increase in student visas for young people from the Middle East and Turkey, both of which increased 16%.

Some universities are actively recruiting overseas students. One is Ohio State University that is trying to use its research partnerships overseas to build stronger pipelines for student recruitment.

Other graduate schools are also taking strategic approaches in attracting international students. At the 10 graduate schools that award the largest number of degrees to international students, offers have increased 13%.

International students are studying a wide variety of courses with the largest increase seen in courses on business, up 16%, earth and physical science, up 15% and social sciences and psychology up 3%.

Offers of admission to prospective international students increased in all four major regions of the United States. The West saw the most growth at 13%) the South and Midwest both increased 11%, and the Northeast grew 10%.

‘While the growth in admissions is driven in large part by increases from China, it also reflects a broader trend as evidenced by strong numbers from the Middle East and India and a stabilization in the numbers from South Korea,’ said Debra Stewart, CGS president.

‘This kind of strong growth in international student applications and admissions is a real testament to the quality of our graduate institutions in an increasingly competitive marketplace,’ she added.