When one size does not fit all: tailoring student experience at INTO’s student services conference

Student experience matters.  When international students feel welcome and supported across all dimensions of their life at university, they contribute positively to their new communities and graduate at higher rates.

INTO’s 22 university partnerships deliver exceptional student experiences to students from around the world.  In fact, 92% of international students across INTO’s 12 university partners in the United States indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience in and out of the classroom in the INTO University Partnerships 2019 Annual Student Survey. 

In mid-July, alongside INTO’s academic directors’ conference, the student services teams that drive these incredible results convened at Saint Louis University for their own student services conference.  There, they shared best practices for student care and some of the dynamic co-curricular initiatives they have launched on their respective campuses to promote student success in tandem with academic faculty.

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Partnering for student success: teaching and learning innovations at the INTO academic directors’ conference

INTO academic and student services faculty gathered at Saint Louis University.

While it is critical to grow international student enrollments in INTO’s university partnerships, it is equally important to retain those international students in degree programs, support their academic success, and ensure their timely graduation.  This is the complex task that academic faculty across INTO’s 12 university partnerships in the United States addressed over three days at the annual INTO academic directors’ conference at Saint Louis University (SLU).

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Do US Party Politics Matter to International Students?

Recently some colleagues asked us whether there was any relationship between the political affiliation/control of states in the US and their success in attracting international students.  Armed with Gallup’s state political affiliation analysis, we had a look.

Gallup identifies five categories: Strong Republican, Lean Republican, Competitive, Strong Democratic and Lean Democratic.  Using those definitions we overlaid IPEDS data to identify the number of international students and the extent to which those enrollments have grown or declined between Fall 2015 and Fall 2017.[1]

In the maps below, the size of the bubble indicates the relative size of the international student population in the State and the color is aligned with Gallup’s definition of political affiliation.

So what are the findings?

  1. International students enroll everywhere but of the top ten most popular state destinations, six are either strong or lean Democratic,  three are designated as competitive (Texas, Ohio and Florida) and one, Indiana is designated as Lean Republican. This does not imply any particular political affiliation amongst students.   States with strong Democratic leanings are home to large urban centers with big concentrations of universities, including many of the Nation’s best known and highly ranked.  These large urban centers are also home to multiple language schools, large community colleges and generally offer strong employment opportunities.
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Global agent poll – a crystal ball for international education?

SEVIS, IIE, HESA, the OECD and Open Doors are useful tools for helping us understand the global distribution of students – and for establishing long term trends.  But they are not crystal balls.  INTO’s latest recruitment agent survey which polled more than 1800 counsellors across the world produces revealing insights into their assessment for future student enrollments in key destination countries. The survey, conducted in April 2019,  includes almost 500 responses from China, traditionally a blackspot for global polls of this nature – and making it the most authoritative China agent insight survey ever conducted.

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SEVIS 2019: Exploring how changing international student enrollment patterns affects some states more than others (Part Two)

The dip in international student numbers in the United States captured in the latest data from the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is unsettling. A 3.1% decline in the number of international students in the US between December 2017 and December 2018 accelerates the 0.5% recorded in the SEVIS data from 2017.

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SEVIS 2019: Language training, associate degrees, and considerations of distortion (Part One)

The United States Department of Homeland Security recently released quarterly data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) that revealed a 3.1% drop in the number of foreign students in the US—the difference between 1.21 million in December 2017 to 1.17 million in December 2018—sparking widespread concern throughout the international education field. The data confirms that nine of the 10 countries that send the highest volumes of international students to the US registered fewer numbers of student visa-holders in 2018 than they did in 2017. Additionally, it shows drops in all but six states’ share of the total international student population.

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Five gender balances and imbalances that define international education in the United States

Balance or imbalance—Is there a gender disparity in international education in the United States?  It is true that more female students come to the US to study than the combined total of US students who study abroad, but a greater proportion of those who study abroad from the US are female.  To mark International Women’s Day and this year’s campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter, INTO’s Dana Bukenova and JP Deering examine some of the gender balances and imbalances that define the international education environment in the US.

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INTO Giving marks more than $1 million donated to education projects around the world

INTO Giving raising $1 million to help schoolchildren and their teachers was a gigantic feat. When we saw we’d reached that million-high orbit, a thrill raced through us. We knew we’d done something monumental.

That ‘we’. That ‘we’ is important.

We, in this case, means thousands of INTO students and graduates from across the world, thousands of INTO employees and faculty, INTO’s global network of agents, INTO University Partnerships and university partners, and INTO’s founder.

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An Existential Crisis – or Learning to Operate in a VUCA World?

“These are the times that try mens’ souls”

Latest SEVIS release confirms a decline in foreign enrollments in the United States

In 1998, the United States War College coined an acronym VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. It was designed as a conceptual model to help military officers understand the world – and has been popularized by the world’s leading Business Schools.

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