Significant decline noted in applications from India and China
First-time international student enrolments in the United States (US) have declined substantially, according to a survey by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).
US universities saw an overall spike of 3% in the total number of foreign applicants enrolled in the upcoming fall semester, but the first-time enrolment rates dropped by 39%. Significant decline has been noted in applications from India and China.
The CGS report includes data received from 326 colleges and universities; the sample comprised 69% public universities and 65% doctoral universities. The rate of decline was consistent across all institutes and programmes.
The first-time enrolment rate at the master’s level dropped by 43% and the doctoral courses suffered a drop of 26 per cent.
Asian first-time enrolments saw a substantial decline of 47% while middle-eastern and north-african regions suffered a 37% drop.
China and India, two countries that consistently represent the largest share of international graduate applications, first-time enrolments, and total enrolments, witnessed significant drops of 37% and 66%, respectively. Canada and Mexico recorded a less significant decline of 5% and 6%, respectively.
CGS carried out two additional surveys: the 2020 NAGAP/CGS Survey of Graduate Enrolment Management Professionals and the 2020 CGS International Graduate Admissions Supplemental Survey.
More than 80% of survey respondents reported an increase in the number of newly admitted international graduate students who deferred, and a majority of those institutions indicated a greater than 5% increase in deferments overall when compared to previous years. The deferrals were relatively consistent across degree levels, with 12% of admission offers deferred at the master’s and certificate level and 10% at the doctoral level.
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