Fall 2020 International Student Enrollment Snapshot

February 1, 2021

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Title: Fall 2020 International Student Enrollment Snapshot

Authors: Julie Baer and Mirka Martel

Source: Institute of the International Education

A recent report by the Institute of the International Education (IIE) examines international student enrollment trends based on data from over 700 U.S. higher education institutions. The report captures data on international students studying in person or online in fall 2020. Results show how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted U.S. higher education and global student mobility.

The key findings include:

  • Almost all U.S. higher education institutions found a way to accommodate international students during the COVID-19 by implementing hybrid model instruction.
  • International students’ enrollment in person and online decreased 43 percent in fall 2020. In addition, 90 percent institutions reported international student deferral, equating to more than 40,000 students having plans to defer their enrollment to a future semester.
  • In the 2019-20 academic year, U.S. institutions committed to supporting international students studying in and outside the U.S. by providing various support for students to adapt to a new learning environment.
  • Almost one-third of institutions provided emergency funding to assist students facing financial hardships, including housing and traveling back home.
  • Despite the uncertainties and financial difficulties, more than half of (64 percent) of U.S. higher education institutions have allocated a budget for international student outreach and recruitment at a similar level or higher than in past years.
  • Many institutions (63 percent) have changed their recruitment strategies to attract international students, by targeting students in U.S. high schools and community colleges.

To read the full report, please click here.

 —Haelim Chun

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