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IIE unveils study on US students seeking degrees abroad

The Institute of International Education (IIE), ACA’s associate member from the United States, has kicked of 2012 with the release of a new report on US students pursuing full post-secondary degrees abroad. Titled U.S. Students in Overseas Degree Programs: Key Destinations and Fields of Study, the report presents findings from the first-ever survey on US students enrolled overseas in degree-seeking programmes. This survey was carried out in cooperation with 20 country and research partners worldwide. Data were collected by field and level of study in four world regions: Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America. The report features information on the largest host country of US degree-seeking students, the United Kingdom, as well as a series of other countries that host 100 or more degree-seeking students from the United States.

According to the report, more than 43 000 US students pursued full degrees abroad in 2009/10. Most of them are enrolled in master’s degree programmes (44%), followed by students in undergraduate degree programmes (39%) and, to a lesser extent, PhD students (17%). The top fields for degree study by US students abroad are the humanities, social sciences and business and management.

The report does not address outbound credit mobility of US students. This is a subject of the annual IIE publication, Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange (see, for example, ACA Newsletter – Education in Europe, November 2011). However, the new study does provide a comprehensive overview of internationalisation strategies in 13 countries that participated in the Project Atlas survey and also outlines some policy recommendations for the international higher education community.