The number of international students enrolling at United States universities has fallen for the second consecutive year, new figures show.
According to findings from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), new enrolments of international students at US graduate schools declined by 1 per cent from autumn 2017 to autumn 2018.
“This is the first time we’ve seen declines across two consecutive years, and while we think it’s too soon to consider this a trend, it is troubling,” Suzanne Ortega, president of CGS, said in a statement. “We continue to monitor issues, including changes in immigration and visa policy, with growing concern over the possible negative impact to the US’s image as a welcoming destination for international students and scholars.”
The overall decline in first-time international graduate enrolments was due to drops at the master’s level. The number of new international students enrolled in master’s programs declined by 2 per cent, while first-time enrolment at the doctoral level increased by 3 per cent.
Applications from prospective international students shrank 4 per cent in the same period.
China and India remain the largest suppliers of international graduate students at US institutions, though applications and first-time graduate enrolment of Indian students fell by 12 per cent and 2 per cent respectively in autumn 2018.
Applications to US graduate schools by students from Middle Eastern and North African countries in autumn 2018 were 14 per cent behind the previous year’s numbers, the CGS reported.
Before the drop from 2016 to 2017, the rate at which international graduate students applied and enrolled to US institutions had not fallen since 2003. Just two years ago, nearly 30 per cent of doctorates in the United States were awarded to international students.
Article published 11th February 2019