Hoosier Universities Recognized For International Students

Representational Image | AP

The preliminary report results doesn't mention Trump at all, and other, positive data from 2016 is presented first (the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is involved in the creation of the report).

After years of rapid growth, enrollment of first- time worldwide students in USA colleges and universities dipped last year amid concerns about political uncertainty, tuition increases, visa delays and reductions in scholarship money. Twenty-five percent of all students who studied overseas were majoring in STEM fields at their home institution, a number which has been growing faster than the average, followed by business and social sciences.

Purdue has the fourth-largest number of worldwide students among USA public institutions and is eighth overall among the more than 4,500 public and private institutions, according to a report issued Monday (Nov. 13) by the Institute of global Education.

This is the first time that these numbers had declined in the six years since Open Doors has reported new enrolments.

The growth rate of students from India, however, decreased from 24.9 per cent in the previous academic year to 12 per cent in 2016-17.

That downturn took place before the presidential election and can be blamed on factors including the rising cost of tuition in the US, growing competition from schools in other countries, and political factors outside the United States, the institute's leaders said.

The colleges cited several factors in declining enrollment, including competition from other countries, the cost of USA higher education, visa delays or denials, and an uncertain US social and political climate, the institute said. Nearly half of the 500 USA campuses surveyed reported declines in new student enrollment, with an average drop of 7%.

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.

"It's definitely a wake-up call, but by no means is it a crisis, and it does not come anywhere close to the precipitous decline and plummeting of numbers that the entire sector had been predicting", said Rajika Bhandari, head of research, policy and practice for the non-profit group based in NY. The colleges reported an average decrease of 7 percent of new students but 45 percent of schools reported declines while 31 percent reported increases.

US colleges seek foreign students to bolster enrollment and their budgets, for those students generally pay full tuition and fees.

The list has been topped by China with 350,755 students followed by India with 186,267 students. Canadian schools that saw sharp gains in applications said those students might otherwise have gone to the United States.

"We don't know what the trends are going to look like for next year, but for sure there are concerns", Bhandari said. "This may be a good wake-up call for some schools to review their approach".

With two-thirds of all global students in the USA from Asia, apprehensions are likely related to the fact that any shifts in student interest would significantly impact overall enrolment, it said.

He cited increased costs to attend US 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 USA may play a part in fewer enrollments. The office also advances high quality worldwide education programs, scholarships and service activities to promote global opportunities for Ohio State, its faculty, staff and students.

Allan Goodman, the institute's president and chief executive, said it's too early to conclude there has been a "Trump effect" on enrollment.

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