Number of int’l students coming to US drops for first time in over a decade

World Today

For the first time in more than a decade, the number of new international students arriving in the U.S. has fallen. Foreign enrollment had been increasing for the past 12 years. CGTN’s Karina Huber has the story.

Almost half of the 500 schools surveyed reported a drop averaging around seven percent. The biggest reduction came from two countries: Brazil and Saudi Arabia. Both recently cut back on their international scholarships.

The number of new students from China and India have continued to grow, but at a slower pace.

The Institute of International Education (IIE), which published the report, said part of the problem is greater competition from other host countries.

“I mean, everybody wants bright international students, and Australia, Canada, the UK are particularly eager,” said Peggy Blumenthal, Senior Counselor to the IIE’s president.

“But,” she adds, “there are other countries around – in the Asian region, for example – that are also starting to recruit. China is becoming actually a host country as well as a sending country for international students.”

Pace University in New York City has students from 117 countries. It hasn’t seen its applications drop, but its president, Marvin Krislov, is concerned about the data. He said international students are a huge asset.

“I think international students really contribute to the education of our students and faculty,” he said. “Because so much of our education is focused globally, and to have those perspectives really contributes to the discussions in the classroom,”

International students are also an important source of revenue. Unlike U.S. students, they usually pay full tuition.

“This helps the universities keep departments open, keep scholarships available for U.S. students, keep faculty members on board,” Blumenthal explained.

Overall, it is estimated that foreign students contribute up to $39 billion to the U.S. economy every year through tuition payments, housing, travel and more.

The three percent drop in new international students cannot be attributed to U.S. President Donald Trump – the data predates his election – but the worry in U.S. higher education is that his views on immigration hurt applications.

“We all are watching,” Krislov said, “and we all want to make sure that the message – the communication is we’re very clear – we are still welcoming for international students.”

  • joe lee

    Who wants to come to the USA, since it is no longer number one as of October 10, 2014 ???? The ones being educated here only turn into EDUCATED FOOLS !!!!

  • Lance

    Sadly, Trump’s contentious issue is affecting enrollments and is one more thing that makes being an international student away from home difficult, compounded by our complex culture and language problems. Welcoming and assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.
    Something that might help anyone coming to the US is the award-winning worldwide book/ebook “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies how “foreigners” have become successful in the US, including students.
    It explains how to cope with a confusing new culture and friendship process, and daunting classroom differences. It explains how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also identifies the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who shout the loudest!