Analysts Expect Increase in Int’l Student Numbers in US Due to Easing Restrictions

Student Numbers in US scaled 1

Against the backdrop of easing travel restrictions and greater priority on student visas, nonprofit higher education association American Council on Education is “cautiously optimistic” that international student numbers would continue to increase over the coming year.

The coming months mark a hint of hope for higher education analysts, with students from China either coming to the United States for the first time or returning to the country to accomplish their study plans.

Key Takeaways:

  • International student numbers are expected to climb over the coming year.
  • The increase is attributed to the easing of travel restrictions and the greater priority on student visas.
  • Students from China make up the largest group of international students in the United States.

China put up more than 380,000 active students last year, being the largest source of international students in the United States.

As COVID-19 travel restrictions are gradually eased and the Biden administration has started prioritizing student visas, analysts are hopeful of bringing back the vibrance of international student figures in the country.

According to Terry Hartle, the American Council Education’s senior vice-president for government relations, despite the travel restrictions and the tension between the United States and China, Chinese students’ interests remain high.

International students from China still consider the most selective U.S. schools in desirable geographic locations, including New York, San Francisco, and Miami, with the broadest interest. In fact, the number of Chinese students enrolled at New York University (NYU) rose from 8,440 in 2020 to 9,749 in 2021, even amid the pandemic.

Not all were able to travel to the United States to pursue higher education in the country, however. There were many who instead took part in programs such as NYU’s “Go Local” program, which accommodated students facing travel and visa issues.

Despite that, higher education analysts remain firm about their perspective that the international student numbers in the United States, especially the population of Chinese students, will continue to rise in the coming months.

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