US enrollment of international students declined for the second year in
a row, sending waves of unease across American colleges and
universities, which see students from abroad as a buffer against the
falling number of US high-school students graduating each year.
The number of new international students enrolling at American
institutions fell by 6.6% during the 2017-18 academic year, on top of a
3.3% decline the year before, according to a report by the Institute of
International Education released Tuesday.
The drop takes the number of new students back to the level seen three
or four years ago.
At the University of Central Missouri, foreign enrollment surged to 2600
in 2016 before plummeting to just 650 this year, according to data
obtained by The AP.
At Purdue University, one of the nation’s biggest hubs for international
students, total foreign enrollment fell by 2 percent this year.
Meanwhile, the total number of international students in the US plus
those working here on a student visa rose by just 1.5% this year. That
was down from average annual growth of 6.1% over the past decade, a
period during which enrollment of international students doubled.
International enrollment fell by 4 percent following the Sept. 11
attacks in 2001, according to data provided by the institute.
Similar to previous years, the largest numbers of students came from
China, India and South Korea, which together made up 56.1 percent of all
The US is also losing students to English-speaking countries such as
Canada, Australia and the UK, which have all seen growth in the past
在招收国际学子方面，United States还输给了加拿大、澳大俄克拉荷马城和United Kingdom等德语国家，过去一年，那个国家的留学子数量都在抓牢。
Canada reported a 20 percent jump in 2017, while Australia saw a 12
加拿大二零一七年的留学子人数增加了十分四，澳大华雷斯联邦（Commonwealth of Australia卡塔尔巩固了12%。
Students from abroad are still flocking to the coasts, but are less
interested in the South and Midwest.
Several factors are driving the decrease. Visa and immigration policy
changes by the Trump administration have deterred some international
students from enrolling, college administrators and immigration analysts
A strong dollar has made US college tuition relatively more expensive,
Canadian and European universities are competing fiercely for the same
students and headlines about mass shootings also may have deterred some
students, said Allan Goodman, president of IIE.
“Everything matters from safety, to cost, to perhaps perceptions of visa
policy,” Goodman said.
“We’re hearing that they have choices. We’re hearing that there’s
competition from other countries.”
The shift is due to a combination of politics, geography and branding,
said Alejandra Sosa Pieroni, an international recruitment expert with
Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a company that consults with colleges to improve
“Students are not feeling welcome in some states, so they are looking
beyond those states and heading to places where they will feel welcome,”
Foreign students are big business: They pumped $42 billion into US
college and university coffers in the 2017-18 school year alone.
International students have become an important funding source for
American colleges as traditional revenue sources, such as state funding,
come under pressure. Most undergraduate foreign students do not qualify
for need-based financial aid and must pay close to full tuition and fees
to attend US schools.
Carol Spradling, director of the school of computer science at Northwest
Missouri State University, said international enrollment began declining
precipitously two years ago, following a “perfect storm” that included
President Trump’s election with his tough talk on immigration and the
shooting of an Indian immigrant worker in Olathe, Kan. The downturn, she
said, had a huge impact on her school’s finances.
The report also found that the number of US students studying abroad
ticked up by 2 percent last year, continuing eight years of slow but
steady growth. Europe remained the top destination, followed by Latin
America and Asia.