Number of overseas students in US falls

The number of overseas students choosing to study at an institution in the United States fell by 7 per cent last year, new figures show.

According to International Institute of Education data published last month it is the second consecutive years that overseas student numbers choosing to study in the US have fallen.

While the cost of studying in the US was given as one of the main reasons behind foreign students’ willingness to stay away from the country, political reasons also rate high on the agenda. Many students report that they felt “unwelcome in the US” while others had concerns about their “physical safety in the US.”

The biggest falls in overseas student enrolments came from India, South Korea, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. However, there has also been a decline in the number of students going to US universities from the UK, Germany and France.

The UK remains the biggest European sender of students to the US but still accounts for only 1 per cent of its total international intake. There are around 11,500 UK students in the US system.

The fall in overall international student number would have been even larger were it not for a sizable increase in the number of Chinese students heading to the States. Chinese students now represent by far and away the largest overseas group of students in the country.

Between 2000 and 2018, the number of Chinese students in the US rose from 60,000 to more than 360,000, mostly concentrated in subjects such as science, technology, maths and business.

China, along with India, currently accounts for half of all the overseas students in the United States.

Article published 5th December 2018