Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education is an independent, nonprofit organization and a world leader in the global exchange of people and ideas.
IIE administers more than 200 programs that serve more than 20,000 people each year. Just last week, the institute released its annual study about international students in the United States.
Called “Open Doors 2007,” the study reflects an interesting development — the number of foreign students enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities has rebounded. This uptick is the first significant increase in total international student enrollments since the 2001-02 school year.
Of the top four countries of origin, India, China, South Korea and Japan, India is the run-away winner at 10 percent, although 43 percent of all students were born in these countries. New international enrollment — students enrolling for the first time at an institution starting fall 2006 — increased 9.97 percent compared to the previous year.
Total foreign student enrollment increased by 3 percent to 582,984, while new enrollment was up by 10 percent. There were strong increases from the top three countries: India was up 10 percent, China up 8 percent and Korea was up 6 percent. It is not surprising that business and management is the top chosen field of study.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs reported that the number of student and exchange visas issued during fiscal year 2007 rose 10.2 percent year-over-year. International students contribute about $14.5 billion to the U.S. economy, through their expenditures for tuition and living expenses.
Once again, we have evidence to support Thomas Friedman’s famous book, “The World is Flat.”
These developments are simply a few consequences of the far-reaching effects of globalization on our societies. Another important factor has been the decline of the U.S. dollar against other currencies, making college tuition paid in foreign currency that much more affordable.
Expect to see even greater increases next year, as a U.S. undergraduate education, highly rated abroad, becomes even more reasonable.
From The Herman Trend Alert, by Joyce Gioia-Herman, strategic business futurist.