The 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange data released on Monday by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has revealed that the number of international students in the United States has increased by three percent over the previous year, and that the number of American students studying overseas has increased by four percent from the previous year. While this year's Open Doors report shows strong growth in the number of global students studying in the United States in the past decade, with an increase of 85% since 2006/07 the new findings signal that the increase is 3% compared to increases of 7% to 10% for the previous three years.
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. This also marks the 11th consecutive year of continued expansion of the total number of global students in US higher education.
The election of Donald Trump last fall prompted widespread fears that foreign students might be deterred from enrolling in USA colleges, where, because they usually pay full tuition, they are often a vital source of revenue.
"The scaling back of large Saudi and Brazil government scholarship programs were a significant factor, as the number of students from those two countries showed the biggest decreases at all levels, including non-degree study", officials said in a press release.
This is the first time that these numbers had declined in the six years since Open Doors has reported new enrolments.
IIE president and CEO Allan E Goodman said that countries and multinational employers around the world are competing to attract top talents.
"They may need to be more intentional in recruitment", he said.
Noting that students continue to be attracted to the high quality and diverse opportunities offered by colleges and universities in the U.S., he said it is critical for USA institutions to set strategic goals and be proactive in reaching out to students and families in a wide range of countries in the coming year.
"International student exchange is an essential contributor to America's economic competitiveness and national security", Alyson Grunder, deputy assistant secretary of state for policy in the department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, said in a statement. "This may be a good wake-up call for some schools to review their approach". Purdue is one of eight USA institutions to host more than 10,000 worldwide students.
"Actually the main reason (for) this shift is because of the politics", Rawat said. One needs to make an F1 visa application to enter the United States to attend a university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory, or language training programme. She said a range of factors play into the decrease in 2017. China dropped out of the top five host countries, as the number of US students studying there dropped by 9 percent.