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International student inclusion and success: public attitudes, policy imperatives, and practical strategies.

Matross, R., Spreitzer, S. (2021) International Student Inclusion and Success: Public attitudes, policy imperatives, and practical strategies. American Council on Education.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the value of international students’ presence and participation in higher education has gained wide recognition at the institutional, national, and global levels. Declining international student numbers in the United States—an emerging trend for the last few years that accelerated during the pandemic—has spurred significant concern among higher education leaders.

ACE surveyed U.S. voters on their attitudes and perceptions regarding international students. Three iterations of the survey were administered in March 2017, December 2019, and February 2021.

This brief presents an analysis of the survey results and their implications for policy and campus practice. Overall, the data suggests a complex, evolving, and nuanced public view of: international students and their intellectual and economic contributions, the recognition of a long-term positive impact on U.S. innovation, and a need to revisit current policy narratives and institutional practices.

Link to the paper here.