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Showing posts with the label Student Mobility

International Student Enrollment Trends Differ by Types of Universities: Research

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American universities and colleges are facing a dire challenge of an overall decline in student enrollment. Between Fall 2010 and Fall 2016, higher education institutions suffered a drop of 7.3%, which translates into 1.5 million fewer students in 2016, according to National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

While the domestic enrollments had been declining, one area of optimism had been growth in international student enrollment. The number of international students in the U.S. increased from 723,277 in Fall 2010 to 1,078,822 in Fall 2016, an increase of 49%, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. In the same period, the financial contributions of international students grew at a faster pace of nearly 83% to reach US$ 36.9 billion in 2016/17.

However, this growth was unevenly spread by the type of institution. Doctoral Universities drove majority or 88% of the growth. Between 2010/11 and 2016/17, international enrollment at Doctoral Universities increased by…

Intensifying Competition and Shifting Expectations in the Next Wave of Global Student Mobility

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How is the future of student mobility likely to shift? To understand the future trends, let us look back at the recent history of mobility. In my article, Three Waves of International Student Mobility, I analyze the trends from the lens of three overlapping waves shaped by key events impacting future trends. While many variables influence mobility, this framework provides a bigger picture of how mobility has changed over time from the perspective of competing destinations.



Wave I: Impact of Terrorist Attacks 
Wave I of international students has its origin in the increasing demand for high-skilled talent, especially in STEM subjects at master’s and doctoral level. During this wave, many institutions were motivated to attract international students for research and reputation – and were willing and able to provide funding and scholarships to lure global talent.

Wave II: Impact of Global Financial Recession 
Wave II has its origins in the global financial recession that started in the US.…

International Student Recruitment and Mobility Trends for Business Schools: AACSB ICAM 2018

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I chaired a session at ICAM AACSB conference in Hawaii on international student mobility and recruitment trends from leadership perspectives. The discussion was set in the context of new competition from ambitious institutions in Asia and Europe and unfavorable political climate for many American institutions.

Despite its challenges “in today's turbulent climate, it's more crucial than ever for business schools to pursue and promote globalization in their programs,” says Pankaj Ghemawat and Phillip Bastian in “(Anti)Globalization and Higher Education.”

This interactive session discussed shifting mobility trends and its implications for business schools, which are aiming to attract and enroll international students. 
I highlighted the many traditional B-schools (Defenders) which have been attracting international students to English-speaking countries must reflect and assess how they are preparing to defend their enrollment goals in times of increasing competition from Challen…

Webinar: Future-proof International Enrollment at American Universities and Colleges

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A variety of megatrends indicate that the next decade is likely to become even more competitive and disruptive for recruiting international students.

Despite the challenges, American higher education institutions have a significant opportunity and capacity to grow international student enrollment. International students comprise of only 5% in the total tertiary enrollment in the U.S. as compared to 18% for the U.K., 15% for Australia, 11% for Canada (OECD, 2017).

In this 60-minutes interactive Studyportals webinar, I will host a discussion with an expert panel on how U.S. higher education institutions can maximize the opportunities and overcome the challenges of growing and diversifying international enrollment? Join us for an insightful and engaging panel discussion with experienced professionals. 

Daniel Palm, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, Northern Arizona UniversityDavid Di Maria, Associate Vice Provost for International Programs, University of Maryland, Baltimor…

NAGAP: Innovative Strategies for Recruiting and Supporting International Students

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International graduate enrollment in Fall 2017 declined by 21,390 students. This translates into an estimated financial loss of $535 million in tuition loss. 
While many external changes are outside the control of university strategies, we must adopt innovative mindset and approaches to overcome constraints and achieve enrollment goals.
Vargo's defines innovation as “the co-creation or collaborative recombination of practices that provide novel solutions for new or existing problems.” 
Look forward to chairing a panel discussion at NAGAP, the Association for Graduate Enrollment Management annual conference in New Orleans with following panel of diverse institutional contexts: Timothy Council, Dean of Admissions at Claremont Graduate UniversitySimon Harley, Assistant Dean for Graduate Enrollment, Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, CUNY Michelle Vakman, Director of Graduate Admissions at New York Institute of Technology
- Rahul Choudaha

NAFSA research on landscape of third-party pathway partnerships in the US

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A recent report released by NAFSA: Association of International Educators aims to understand the scope of third-party pathway partnerships in the context of the US higher education and the viewpoints of international educators on these partnerships. The purpose was to establish a baseline of evidence on an evolving partnership model with private providers for international student enrollment.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha of DrEducation was the principal investigator of this commissioned research project entitled Landscape of Third-Party Pathway Partnerships in the United States. He was also the principal investigator of NAFSA's previous research report--Bridging the Gap: Recruitment and Retention to Improve International Student Experiences.

Here is the related coverage:
New study explores US educators’ views on pathway partnerships, ICEF Monitor
US HE: quality concerns main reason for eschewing pathways, The PIE News
Perceptions of pathway programs, Inside Higher Ed
• Slides from NA…

New destinations compete to attract international students in times of anti-immigrant rhetoric in UK and US

The number of globally mobile international students doubled to reach 4 million between the period 1999 and 2013. Every third globally mobile student is enrolled in an American or British institution of higher education. However, with the Brexit and American Presidential elections, 2016 is likely to affect the choices of many international students and prompting them to consider alternative destinations.

In my keynote presentation, “Three Waves of International Student Mobility: Implications for Recruitment and Partnership Strategies,” at International Universities Networking Conference - IUNC Eurasia 2017 in Moscow, Russia, I highlighted that institutions are facing an environment of hyper-competition, uncertainty and declining resources for attracting international students.

In contrast to anti-immigrant narratives in the UK and the US, Ireland extended the option of staying back to 24 months for graduates at postgraduate and doctorate level and recognizing the importance of gaini…

Brand awareness and feeder partnerships critical for success with international student recruitment: Global webinar

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Over 1,200 professionals from around the world registered to attend the global online discussion (webinar) on "International student mobility trends: Shifting recruitment priorities and strategies."   Around 37% of the registrants were from the USA, 12% from the United Kingdom, 6% from Canada and just over 45% from the rest of the world. Seventy percent of the professionals indicated that they have more than 10 years of working in higher education.

University World News, DrEducation and StudyPortals partnered to bring this webinar to a global audience. This webinar is the fourth in the series of webinars on international higher education organised by DrEducation with University World News. In total, over 4,000 people from around the world have registered for these webinars. Given below is the recording of the

Access the slides Related article - Brand is key challenge for international recruitment Related article - A perfect storm for international student mobility?


Rahul Chou…

Research on international student experiences: Special issue of Studies in Higher Education

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Studies in Higher Education is a peer-reviewed journal with the 2015 Impact Factor of 1.222. The recent Special Issue (Vol. 42, No. 5) of the Journal focused on "The international student experience: voices and perspectives."

Mary-Louise Kearney and Daniel Lincoln, Co-editors, Special Issues write "the experience of studying abroad has moved centre stage, due to exponentially increasing student demand from emerging economies and to the global nature of advanced knowledge. Universities, for their part, compete aggressively to attract top talent and shore up their international rankings. The international student experience lies at the centre of this dynamic."

This special issue was coordinated by Tang Tang Heng of the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore as the guest editor. I had an opportunity to be part of the special issue by contributing the opening article that sets the context of the student mobility in three overlapping waves of seven years each.

Three waves of international student mobility explain the past, present and future trends

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In my recent article “Three waves of international student mobility (1999–2020)” published in Studies in Higher Education, a leading peer-reviewed journal by Taylor & Francis, I have analyzed the past, present, and future of international student mobility from the lens of three overlapping Waves spread over seven years between 1999 and 2020. Here a Wave is defined by the key events and trends impacting international student mobility within the short periods of seven years.


Wave I was shaped by the terrorist attacks of 2001 and enrolment of international students at institutions seeking to build research excellence. Wave II was shaped by the global financial recession which triggered financial motivations for recruiting international students.

Wave III is being shaped by the slowdown in the Chinese economy, UK’s referendum to leave the European Union and American Presidential elections. The trends for Wave III show increasing competition among new and traditional destinations to at…

International graduate student career success: Institutional capacity and readiness

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Growing or sustaining international student enrollment requires enhancing the student experience and supporting their success, according to the recent article titled "12 Strategies for Building a Capacity for International Graduate Student Career Success." The article co-authored by Rahul Choudaha and Di Hu was published in the Spring 2017 issue of NAGAP Perspectives. With more than 2,000 members, NAGAP, The Association for Graduate Enrollment Management exclusively focuses on professionals working in the graduate enrollment management environment.

Given below is the excerpt of the article. Click here to access the full article.

International graduate students’ decision to study abroad is influenced by an interplay of financial investment and potential career opportunities. This is evident from the importance of funding opportunities like scholarships and assistantships in students’ search criteria. Likewise, it is well established that the prospects of finding job and inter…

Impact of temporary ban on seven Muslim countries on international students

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The overall impact of the recent ban on seven Muslim countries could be severe for enrollments at many higher education institutions. It will sharply drop the number of international students not only from these countries but other Muslim majority countries too like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia were among top-15 places of origin sending international students in 2015/16, according to IIE.

Saudi Arabia, a key market for the US was already witnessing the drop in enrollment due to a cut in the Saudi government's scholarship program. The domino effect of this ban will further result in a precipitous decline of students from Saudi. Intensive English Programs and undergraduate programs are likely to suffer from enrollment decline in students from Saudi and Kuwait.

The ban will especially hurt graduate schools as a majority of the students from the seven banned countries and other Muslim countries like Turkey which were primarily enrolled in graduate level prog…

Number of international students on Optional Practical Training in the USA: Analysis of data and trends

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One of the leaked draft executive orders on Vox focuses on limiting legal immigration. It is entitled "Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs." Among its several provisions are the employment-based visas and Optional Practical Training (OPT). It states:

(iv) consider ways to make the process for allocating H-1B visas more efficient and ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest;

(vii) propose for notice and comment a regulation that would reform practical training programs for foreign students to prevent the disadvantaging of U.S. students in the workforce, better protect U.S. and foreign workers affected by such programs, restore the integrity of student visa programs, ensure compliance, and improve monitoring of foreign students

Vox reports that this order could "...reverse Obama’s extension of the duration of Optional Practical Training work visas and decision to allow the spouses…

Latest data on international students: Comparing US and UK enrollment trends

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International student market in entering a phase of hyper-competition and turbulence. With the changing political contexts, the top two destinations for international students--US and UK--are experiencing challenges in maintaining their attractiveness.

At the institutional level, universities and colleges with the global brand recognition and rankings will face limited challenges while the majority of the institutions will struggle to recruit international students and meet their enrollment goals.

I have analyzed the data from HESA, UK and IIE, US for 2015-16 enrollment. Here are some of the inferences based on the comparative analysis of the international student mobility data:
American higher education institutions are more dependent on China and India as compared to British institutions US and UK have witnessed contrasting trends with at least four places of origin—India, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Hong Kong The growth rate for Chinese students in the US far outstrips than in the UK …

Trends with Chinese students in American business schools and specialized master's programs

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Many American Business Schools are increasingly relying on international students to meet their enrollment goals. I was quoted in a recent story highlighting that Chinese students constitute 40% of total enrollment at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

I analyzed the data of Chinese GMAT test-takers to see the growth trends. The number of Chinese citizens taking GMAT test increased by 22% to reach 70,744 between the testing year (TY) 2012 to 2016, according to GMAC or Graduate Management Admissions Council During the same five years, the growth for Chinese test-takes residing in China grew at a slower pace of 13% to reach 50.465 test-takers.


The difference in the number of GMAT test-takers who are Chinese residents from those who are Chinese citizens is the number of Chinese GMAT test takers from overseas. There were 20,279 such students in TY2016. The number of GMAT test-takers increased at a much faster rate of 48% (TY 2012-2016) for Chinese students who were overseas. These more …

Indian higher education institutions aspire to recruit more international students

Here is an excerpt from my article published in The Economic Times based on a panel presentation at 2016 FICCI Higher Education Summit.

India is the second largest source of internationally mobile students around the world. According to the UNESCO data, in 2015, nearly 234,000 Indian students were enrolled in universities and colleges abroad. In contrast, Indian universities and colleges hosted nearly 39,000 degree-seeking international students.

The Government of India is keen on enhancing the attractiveness of India as a destination for international students. At the same time, some Indian institutions are keen on making use of the 15% additional seats available to them for enrolling foreign students.

However, India faces increasing competition as many other destinations have already been active in creating government policies and institutional capacities for attracting global talent. For example, in 2015, Malaysia and China hosted more than 60,000 and 123,000 degree-seeking interna…

Demonetization of Indian currency and its impact on mobility and enrollment of Indian students in 2017

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What will be the impact of demonetization of Indian currency on Indian students planning to study abroad in 2017? Here is an excerpt of the article published in Forbes by Rahul Choudaha and Di Hu. 
On November 8, the Prime Minster of Indian announced a demonetization policy which made 86% of the currency in circulation invalid as a legal tender. With the application deadlines for most institutions ranging from November to February, the timing of demonetization could not have been worse as many were still making sense of the implications of the recent Presidential elections.

Student visa processes require showing proof of availability of funds for the first year of tuition and living expenses. Given that total annual expenses can range from US$ 30,000 to US$ 70,000, many Indian students were using short-term borrowing for visa approvals and education abroad.

Clearly, in this context demonetization is likely to affect the willingness and ability of Indian students to study abroad, howev…

Commentary and media mentions on Trump and international education

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American universities and colleges face many uncertainties under Trump’ Presidency including the future of the internationalization of higher education. Will universities and colleges become more globally engaged? Will universities and colleges be successful in attracting more international students? Will American students get resources and support to engage in more education abroad experiences?


I have published two commentary pieces and my perspectives have been mentioned in 20 publications including The New York Times, Inside Higher Ed, and Slate.

Times Higher Ed: The politics of the UK and the US will not be welcomed by international students In sum, the sociopolitical environment in the countries that are the leading destinations for international students has dramatically changed. In this turbulent environment, upholding the values of international education and student mobility is more important than ever.University World News: International educators build bridges, not walls Ove…

Data on mobility of international students to and from India

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How many Indian students go to study abroad every year? How many international students come to study in Indian universities and colleges?


It is often reported in media that somewhere between 200,000 -400,000 Indian students go abroad every year. It is incorrect due to misinterpretation of the data. The UNESCO Institute of Statistics reports enrollment data on degree-seeking internationally mobile students.

According to the last data available for 2014, nearly 234,00 Indian students were enrolled in different parts of the world. Here enrollment refers to students in various stages of their educational program and not just the first year students (new enrollment). Assuming that majority of the Indian students are pursuing two-year master's program, the total number of students going abroad every year will be around 100,000.

Most of the international students studying in Indian universities and colleges come from the neighboring countries inAsia and the Middle East. Given that India…

Making India as a destination of choice for international students: Institutional strategies and best practices

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12th FICCI HIGHER EDUCATION SUMMIT will take place from November 10-12, 2016 in Delhi. The overarching theme of the conference is opportunities and challenges for attracting foreign students to India.

I will be participating in a session "Making 'Learn in India' Happen!" which will deliberate on making India the preferred choice of study for the international students. The panel comprises of following speakers:

Dr Rahul Choudaha, CEO, DrEducation, USA Prof Furqan Qamar, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities (AIU) Mr Rakesh Ranjan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Mr Daniel C. Stoll, Associate Dean, Georgetown University Dr G Vishwanathan, Chancellor, VITDr Vidya Yeravdekar, Vice Chancellor, Symbiosis University 
I will focus three critical success factors for institutions:

Understanding diverse segments of international students Investing in international student experience Developing a profession on international education …