Worldwide enrollment in United States colleges is on the decline

The University of San Diego has earned the No. 2 national ranking among the Top 40 doctorate-granting universities part of IIE's Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange

IL schools enrolled 52,225 worldwide students for the 2016-2017 year, which is a 3.8 percent increase from the previous academic year, according to the Institute of global Education's annual Open Doors study.

But the numbers were not evenly distributed: 45 percent of the campuses reported declines in new enrollments for fall 2017, while 31 percent saw jumps in enrollments and 24 percent reported no change from a year ago.

The roughly 3 percent decline in new foreign students in California and nationally was the first drop the institute has recorded in the 12 years it has collected such data, and the decline appears to be deepening.

The election of Donald Trump last fall prompted widespread fears that foreign students might be deterred from enrolling in U.S. colleges, where, because they usually pay full tuition, they are often a vital source of revenue.

"International student exchange is an essential contributor to America's economic competitiveness and national security", said Alyson L. Grunder, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Policy in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, asserting: "The US higher education sector remains the global leader in welcoming students from around the world, and at the same time, we are committed to increasing opportunities to study overseas for Americans".

The largest enrollment growth was from global students who have graduated but remain classified as students at universities with student visas while working under the optional practical training program.

Open Doors is published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), which has conducted an annual statistical survey on international students in the United States since its founding in 1919 and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972.

The flow of new worldwide students entering USA colleges and universities shrank past year and has continued to decline this fall on many campuses, breaking a recent trend of growth, a nonprofit group said Monday.

No one factor led to the decline in new students, Goodman said during a phone conference with reporters last week.

The overall number of foreign students in the United States continued to rise, however, increasing by 3% as many worldwide students remained in the U.S. on postgraduate training visas.

While the number of India and Chinese students continue to climb, there is a marked slowdown from some countries, notably Brazil and Saudi Arabia, which have scaled down their scholarship programmes.

The top states for worldwide students remained unchanged previous year, with California topping the list followed by New York, Texas and MA.

"They may need to be more intentional in recruitment", he said. "This may be a good wake-up call for some schools to review their approach".

Sankul Rawat, a University of IL at Chicago graduate student, said many of his peers in India are choosing Canada over the U.S.

Yet it's too early to determine that there has been a "Trump effect" on enrollment, president of IIE Alan Goodman, told the Washington Post.

According to the report, a majority of Bangladeshi students in the U.S. study at the graduate level.

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