U.S. University International Student Enrollment Falls
While the U.S. still remains the world’s top destination for international students, U.S. News reports that a recent survey by the State Department and Institute of International Education has found a drop in the number of new international university enrolments for the fall 2017 school year. As these are big numbers (approximately 290,000 for 2016 vs. 271,000 for 2017), pinpointing the exact reason this has happened is a little tricky. This drop could be driven by one or two U.S. states; it could be financial; it could even be a visa issue. Without more specific data, we don’t really know. The good news is that Chinese students remain the largest group of international students in the U.S. and, in fact, have grown in number. Additionally, there has been a slight increase in the number of overall international students in the U.S., due to the Optional Practical Training program, an initiative which allows graduates to stay on for work after finishing studies — these kinds of programs are a great attraction to international students who can learn, qualify and gain experience on the international stage before returning home.
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