How China Saved International Student Enrollment in the US?

Growth of Chinese students enrolling in global higher education systems is no news. In my earlier post, I estimated that nearly 750,000 Chinese students apply to study abroad every year. However, the dramatic growth and increasing dependence on China becomes striking when put in perspective of enrollment change in the last decade.
In 2002, India was the leading source of international students enrolling nearly 67,000 students in American higher education institutions, followed by China with nearly 63,000 students. By 2011, number of Indian students grew by 55% to 104,000 and Chinese students grew by 150% to 158,000 students. This was also the period when Japanese enrollment dropped by 40% from 47,000 to 28,000.
Chinese enrollment did not grew at a rapid pace until 2008, when enrollment grew by nearly 20% for the first time and added 13,000 students. This was also the time when India was still the leading source country by a margin of 14,000 more students as compared to Chinese; Korea was growing at a healthy pace and Japan was continuing to decline.
Another couple of years of robust growth of Chinese students made it the largest source country in 2010, surpassing India. It was the time when Korea was also stagnating and Japan was sliding further.
American institutions have benefited greatly from the unprecedented and surprising growth of Chinese students in the campus to fill the gap created by stagnant or declining numbers from other source countries. However, many now face qualitative and diversity challenges on their campuses. This also means that institutions need to be aware of the marketplace changes in a more proactive manner.
Going forward, with the upcoming IIE Open Doors report in November, I expect continued trend of growth of Chinese students.
Dr. Rahul Choudaha