International Educator - September/October 2019 - 18

International Students Enrolled in the United States at the Graduate Level
Master's, doctoral, and professional degrees
400,000

350,000

300,000

250,000

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Source: IIE Open Doors data

The incident typifies one of several headwinds U.S.
colleges and universities are pushing against in
maintaining, or growing, their international graduate
student enrollment numbers. The smooth sailing
conditions that U.S. institutions once enjoyed show
signs of slowing when buffeted by an increasingly
negative impression abroad of studying in the United
States, unpredictable and onerous visa processes, and
competition from other countries' higher education
systems-all of which are often interrelated.
"It's really a perfect storm of different things that
are contributing to a decrease in the student numbers
that we're seeing," says Anderson.
In the face of those challenges, universities are
adapting by focusing on their institutional strengths,
exploring new digital and online social tools, and
evaluating and creating new programs, partnerships,
and strategies for reaching out to and retaining
international graduate students.

Behind the Decline
After more than a decade of consistent increases, the
troubling clouds of slowed growth and slight decline
have formed on the international student enrollment
horizon. The most recent data from the Council of
Graduate Schools (CGS) show 2 consecutive years
of decline in international student applications and
enrollment, while the Institute of International
18

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR S E P T + O C T.2019

Education's data indicate stalled growth and, most
recently, a dip in graduate enrollments.
"While we think it's too soon to consider this a trend,
it is troubling," says CGS President Suzanne Ortega.
Virginia Tech is one of many institutions that have
seen a decline in their international graduate student
population that corresponds with the turbulence in the
current geopolitical environment. At Virginia Tech,
enrollment was at an all-time high at 2,159 international
students in 2016, but numbers have since dropped to
1,959 in 2018. In fall 2018, about 25 students did not
receive their visas in time to begin classes, so the school
extended admissions to the spring.
"Beside some of the messages potential students
are getting from the United States, I think Canada
seems to be sending different messages, [as well
as] the United Kingdom, Australia, even some in
Europe," says Karen P. DePauw, vice president and
dean of graduate education at Virginia Tech.
"Grad students have the ability to go multiple
places," she says. "And where the United States was
[once] the primary destination, I think [it has to]
become a primary destination they will look to."
Katherine Beczak agrees. Beczak is the
marketing chair for NAGAP, the Association for
Graduate Enrollment Management, and assistant
director for graduate enrollment services at
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). "We've



International Educator - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Chile
Quick Questions
Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
Feature: Raising the Bar
Feature: Branching Out
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 4
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - September/October 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Global Spotlight: Chile
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 14
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Raising the Bar
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 26
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Branching Out
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 36
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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