International Educator - January/February 2017 - 55

KOLETT/ SHUTTERSTOCK

But when looking
at the numbers more
closely, the increases in
the past 10 years have
been largely driven by a
handful of countries and
by students and families
that can afford the comparatively high cost of a
U.S. college education.
Thirty years ago, the top
three countries sending students to study in the United
States were Taiwan, Malaysia, and Nigeria, but students
from those countries made up just 18 percent of the total;
today, the top three sending countries are China, India,
and South Korea, and make up 50 percent of the total.
Whether students are coming here to study from Malaysia
or China is not a result of any proactive national strategy
on our part, but largely a result of external geopolitical and
economic factors. As a result, we may not be educating
enough students from as wide a variety of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and perspectives as we should.
Take, for example, Patrick Awuah of Ghana. Patrick
received an undergraduate scholarship to attend Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. After graduating, he worked
for several years as an engineer at Microsoft in Seattle, but
soon felt the pull to return home and give back. Inspired by
his educational experience at Swarthmore, in 2002, Patrick
established Ashesi University in Ghana, a liberal arts institution focused on critical thinking and problem solving,
with the goal of developing a new generation of leaders and
entrepreneurs in Africa. For his efforts, Patrick received
a MacArthur "genius grant" last year. At the time Patrick
attended Swarthmore, more than 33,000 students from
sub-Saharan Africa were studying in the United States.
Thirty years later, that figure remains unchanged.
The United States also offers academic opportunities
for students from abroad who have none at home. Several
years ago, Indian student Srikanth Bolla became the first
blind international student to study at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. Rejected due to his blindness by
his top choice in his home country, the Indian Institute
of Technology, he applied to schools in the United States,
and was accepted by Stanford, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon,
and MIT, where he ultimately chose to attend on scholarship. Today, Srikanth is back in India running a nonprofit
providing support services to students with disabilities
and a successful paper products company that offers
meaningful employment to disabled workers.
Educating students from a wider number of countries

and backgrounds is one
of the most powerful
tools of diplomacy and
development we have.
That is why NAFSA is
urging the next president
to lead a proactive national initiative focused
on international student
diversity on U.S. college
campuses to ensure we
reach more students like Patrick and Srikanth. A national
initiative would seek to better leverage existing U.S. government programs, identify current best practices used
by U.S. higher education in reaching and supporting a
wider pool of applicants, as well as solicit support from
the private sector, as markets outside of the developed
world will constitute the bulk of economic growth over
the next 20 years.
If we believe that diversity and equity in U.S. higher
education enrollment is essential to the well-being of our
country, then this also must apply to the international students we educate at our colleges and universities. Next
fall, there will be a few Patricks and Srikanths in classrooms on our campuses, but having more will do us and
the world a lot of good.
MARLENE JOHNSON is executive director emerita at NAFSA.
RACHEL BANKS serves as NAFSA's director for public
policy and oversees NAFSA's advocacy work on behalf of
international student recruitment and visa issues.

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| J A N + F E B . 2 0 17

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J A N + F E B .17 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 10
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Voices
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Act Globally
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 22
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Tradition and History
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 40
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 46
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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