Enrollment of foreign students drops at USA colleges

Nov 14, 2017, 00:39
Enrollment of foreign students drops at USA colleges

The number of Indian students studying in U.S. institutions has gone up by 12.3 per cent - to 1.86 lakh in the academic year 2016-17 from 1.65 lakh in 2015-16, according to a global report.

But the numbers were not evenly distributed: 45 percent of the campuses reported declines in new enrollments for fall 2017, while 31 percent saw jumps in enrollments and 24 percent reported no change from previous year. This is the first decline since Open Doors has reported new enrollments.

Ohio State ranks 17th in the nation with 7,684* worldwide students enrolled in 2016, an 8 percent increase in enrollment from the previous year.

But India slipped in rank to 15th from 13th among top 25 destinations of U.S. study overseas.

Global student enrollment experienced an increase of more than 550 students; Ohio State enrolled 7,117 worldwide students in 2015.

Comprising 17.3 per cent of all global students there, the Indian students are only behind China, which remains the top sender of students to the USA since 2009-10 when it toppled India for the number one position.

Indian students accounted for 17.3% of the total foreign students in the USA in 2016-17, contributing over $6 billion to the American economy, according to the 2017 Open Doors data released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the U.S. department of state's bureau of educational and cultural affairs. Almost 500 college and university officials reported the overall number of enrolled students was flattening, with an average decrease of 7 percent in the number of newly enrolled worldwide students for 2017-18. "Concerns around the travel ban had a lot to do with concerns around personal safety based on a few incidents involving worldwide students, and a generalized concern about whether they're safe", Bhandari told The Times. The IIE press statement attributed the slowing of growth to a number of factors, including more higher education options at home.

"They may need to be more intentional in recruitment", he said.

Most students came into the state from China (39.9 percent), India (19.2 percent) and Saudi Arabia (11.1 percent).

At Ohio State, International Education Week is celebrated with a number of activities supported by the Office of International Affairs, which oversees Ohio State's education overseas programs and international student and scholar services. "This may be a good wake-up call for some schools to review their approach".

"Actually the main reason (for) this shift is because of the politics", Rawat said.

He cited increased costs to attend USA colleges; competition from schools in other countries, especially the U.K., Canada, Australia and Germany; visa delays or denials in visas; as well as the social and political climate in the US may play a part in fewer enrollments. One needs to make an F1 visa application to enter the U.S. to attend a university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or language training programme.

"It's much too soon to tell what is the defining factor", he said.

According to the report, a majority of Bangladeshi students in the United States study at the graduate level.

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