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US colleges and universities experience heavy losses during the pandemic

The number of students studying in US colleges and universities dropped dramatically during the school year that began in September 2020. Experts attribute the decline to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey of nearly 3,000 institutions of higher education in the US showed a 15% decrease in the number of international students attending the 2020-2021 school year.

The number of new student enrollments fell by 45.6%.

This brings the total international students enrolled to 914,095, the first time since the 2015-2016 academic year that the number has fallen below the 1 million mark after a decade of rapid increases.

International students comprise 4.6% of the nearly 20 million students enrolled in higher education in the United States.

The number of students from China and India continues to dominate enrollment in American colleges and universities. Combined, they continue to represent more than half of all international students in the US

Chinese students declined 14.8% from the previous year to 317,299, or 34.7% of all international students.

Indian students declined 13.2% from the previous year to 167,583, or 18.3% of all international students.

The pandemic emanated from China in December 2019. International students left the US to return to their home countries for winter break, with many returning to US campuses in January 2020. The campuses The US closed in March 2020 around spring break, and all students were sent home, returned home, or remained in the US when colleges and universities switched their classes to online learning.

The research was conducted by the New York-based Institute for International Education (IIE) and published on November 15. IIE, founded in 1919, is a non-profit organization funded by the US State Department and focuses on student exchange and aid, foreign affairs, and international peace and security, ”according to its website. Its mission is "to build more peaceful and equitable societies by promoting scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunities".

 Students walk to and from classes on the Indiana University campus, October 14, 2021, in Bloomington, Indiana. "Src =" jpg "/></div><p> <span
Students walk to and from classes on the Indiana University campus, October 14, 2021, in Bloomington, Indiana.

New York University remained the top destination school for international students among all US colleges and universities. New York State received second largest number (106,894 out of 914,095 total) after first place in California, serving 132,758 students. The University of Southern California moved from third to fourth place, overtaken by Columbia University in New York City, but the University of California campuses in San Diego, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Irvine and Davis were included among the First 18.

Northeastern University in Boston was the second most popular school for international students: 15,880 of the 66,273 who attend the school in Massachusetts. Another 10,646 international students attended Boston University, located nearby among at least 10 other colleges and universities in an area known locally as the Miracle Mile.

IIE also released a more optimistic fall snapshot that surveyed more than 860 institutions about enrollment for the school year that began in August and September 2021.

"Findings from the Fall 2021 International Student Enrollment Snapshot reflect the resilience of US higher education institutions and student mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic," stated IIE. "Institutions of higher education report a 68% increase in the number of new international students enrolling for the first time at a US institution in the US or online from abroad, an increase from the 46% decrease reported in Open Doors 2021 ".

Of those 860 institutions, 70% reported an increase in new student enrollment, while 10% said enrollment was steady and 20% reported a decline.

As of fall 2021, 99% of the colleges and universities that participated in the survey reported having taught classes in person or a combination of in person and online. At least 65% reported having international students on campus.

Seventy-seven percent reported spending as much, if not more, on student recruitment compared to previous years.

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