US universities: Less international, more online students - report
WASHINGTON, DC, USA - MAY 21, 2017: College graduates in cap and gown at George Washington University commencement. Source: Shutterstock

Senior admissions officials in US universities are reporting a sharp decline in their respective institutions’ effort to recruit international students, a new survey has found.

At the same time, more are trying to attract online students, according to the joint report by Gallup and higher education news site Inside Higher Ed.

“The proportion of admissions directors who strongly agree or agree that their college will increase efforts to recruit international students has fallen from 60 percent in 2015 to 50 percent in 2016 to 42 percent today,” the report wrote.

The source of their recruiting woes is traced to the White House and its unwelcoming immigration policies towards foreign talent, including international students.

“Further, 74 percent of admissions directors agree — including 52 percent who strongly agree — that the policies and rhetoric of the Trump administration have made it more difficult to recruit international students,” according to the report.

The “13-point increases” in the percentages reporting increased recruiting activities for online students and students older than 24 percent could be partially due to the relative ease of convincing foreign applicants to pursue online programmes, since they do not require a visa as a prerequisite to taking the course.

The report also showcases the high standing International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and most honours courses hold among admissions directors. The majority disagree with the assumption that students with IB or honours courses are disadvantaged in the admissions process compared to their peers who have taken AP courses.

In contrast, more than six in ten strongly agree or agree that students take too many AP courses, thinking it is necessary for admission into college.

They are twice as likely to strongly agree or agree (44 percent) with the decision of several private schools in the US to cease offering AP courses, as they are to strongly disagree or disagree (22 percent).

The survey is based on responses gathered from 499 senior persons in admissions or enrollment management at US higher education institutions.

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