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Toward Greater Inclusion and Success: A New Compact for International Students

Glass, C., A. Godwin, K., Matross Helms, R., (2021). Toward Greater Inclusion and Success: A New Compact for International Students. American Council on Education. Washington, USA.

This paper explores the imminent rise in international student enrolment to Higher Education Institutions in the U.S post World War II. This increasing presence of international students has built diplomatic bridges between the U.S. and other nations. 

  • In the 2018–19 academic year, 1,095,299 international students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions, doubling from 547,867 in 2000–01. 
  • International student enrolments have risen from just under 50,000 in 2000–01 to almost 250,000 in 2012–13. 
  • International students as a percentage of total U.S. student enrolment have grown steadily, rising from 3.6 percent in 2000–01 to 5.5 percent in 2018–19 

However, this international student enrolment has been on a steady decline since 2016-17, yet this decline would be larger if it were not for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program: 

  • OPT program surged 400% from 2008 to 2016, boosted by the 2012 STEM OPT extension. 
  • OPT accounted for just over 10 percent of total international student enrolment in 2012–13, and now accounts for over 25 percent. 

International educators are asking, “Is the United States as competitive as it once was in attracting international students?”  

The pandemic has raised many more existential questions about international students which will be covered in this paper. 

Find the research paper here.