Report: Graduate school enrollment dips among international students
- While international student enrollment in U.S. graduate schools remains among the highest in the world, the rate at which students are applying and entering these schools has slowed down over the last two years.
- According to a recent report from the Council of Graduate Schools, applications from international students have dropped to 1% since 2015, while enrollment remains at 5% over the same period. But the enrollment figure itself is a decrease from a high of 10% in 2013.
- International students comprise 25% of the total graduate student enrollment, but enrollment from Saudi Arabia and Brazil has dropped by an average of 11%.
This research disputes many of the claims which have pointed international enrollment downward trends to a change in presidential leadership and a rise in domestic acrimony centered around race and ethnicity. It is more likely that the increasing competitiveness of colleges in other countries, particularly the UK and Canada, has detracted from the number of students seeking admission to U.S. institutions. But it could also point to a prevalent problem in admission bias, an issue which a majority of colleges say they have no plan in place to reduce or to eliminate.
There are some areas in which colleges can do more to market to international students, such as promoting MOOCs and online learning programs, which data show are most attractive to male students outside of the U.S. But schools which may see lower returns as a result of perceived incivility on campus will have a difficult time making the case that they are better than the image projected by students or by the country at this point in history.
- Inside Higher Ed Grad schools remain a global draw
- Education Dive Survey: 70% of colleges lack plan to eliminate admissions bias