Ahead of this year’s university application cycle, international
students at the INTO London World Education Centre escaped a dreary,
late-January afternoon to attend the Centre’s seventh annual Progression Fair.
Held at Chapter Spitalfields, the residence INTO students
share with other international students in the heart of London’s East End, the
event gave students the chance to learn about the vast array of programmes on
offer directly from university representatives.
With 62 of INTO’s affiliate universities in the United Kingdom
represented, and with 140 INTO students in attendance, it was the largest
progression fair the Centre has had to date.
As 2019 concludes, those in the international education
community in the United States have much to reflect on. In November, the Institute of International
Education’s (IIE) 70th
Open Doors Report revealed that it has been a uniquely challenging year for
international student enrollment. Although
the nationwide decline in new international student enrollments (NSEs) slowed
from -6.6% in 2017/18 to -0.9% in 2018/19, 51% of American higher education
institutions reported a decrease in NSEs in 2019.
For INTO’s 12 American university partners, however, there were
a great deal of international student enrollment and education milestones in
2019—proof that there is every reason to believe things
can only get better in the American international education realm.
In Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, Northeastern University president Dr. Joseph E. Aoun observes that the rise of machine learning will have a profound impact on the jobs people do and the planet they inhabit. A recent piece in the Economist confirmed this hypothesis in the context of the global finance industry, noting: “Funds run by computers that follow rules set by humans account for 35% of America’s stock market, 60% of institutional equity assets and 60% of trading activity.”
As is evident from the Institute of International Education’s 2019 Open Doors Report, international students are alert to the transformations posed by the rise of technology in industry, and they increasingly seek out majors in math and computer science at the expense of traditional business programs.
To kick off International Education Week this past Monday,
the Institute of International Education (IIE) released its 70th
Open Doors Report outlining international student mobility trends in the
United States during the 2018/19 academic year.
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie
Royce commenced the release by lauding the nation’s status as the most popular
study destination for international students, attracting more than one million
international students for the fourth year in a row.
The report also indicated that there was a decrease in the
6.6 percent declines in new international student enrollments (NSEs) in 2017/18
to 0.9 percent in 2018/19, evidence that suggests the two-year drop in
international enrollments has stabilized.
Over the past month, some 2,500 students from around the
world commenced their studies at INTO’s 12 university partners in the United
States. Understanding the anxieties that
accompany this journey, faculty and staff across INTO’s U.S. university
partners and their respective INTO centers deploy a combination of pre-arrival
communications, carefully curated orientation sessions, and online applications
to familiarize students with their new university communities. The result: a high-touch orientation
experience that provides students a launchpad for a successful academic career.
Following the second annual P3
– EDU Conference, hosted at George Mason University this past May, former GMU
President Angel Cabrera posited that “the private sector holds the key to
solving many of the challenges public and non-profit universities face.” The success
of such partnerships, he pointed out, depends on private sector parties’
capacity to support their higher education partners’ strategic goals, prioritize
student experience, and protect an institution’s academic integrity and reputation.
Student success and campus enrichment lie at the heart of every
INTO university partnership. From our
first with the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom to our most
recent with Hofstra University in New York, each of our partnerships is
predicated on supporting the university’s mission through comprehensive
initiatives led jointly by INTO Center staff and their university colleagues at
GMU, Colorado State University (CSU), and Drew University exemplify the
symbiosis INTO shares with its partners.
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
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).
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.
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.
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
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.