Bangladeshi students in the U.S. for higher education

Representational Image | AP

The data from the Institute of International Education are likely to fuel questions about how the divisive 2016 presidential campaign and USA policy shifts since President Donald Trump took office have influenced the global academic market.

Overall, China and India, between them make up 50 per cent of the 1.08 million foreign students on American campuses - an all-time high. "During the past year the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR) trained almost 100 faculty on how to adapt their curriculums to help students increase knowledge of worldview frameworks, develop greater empathy, improve verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and develop greater emotional resilience".

While an IIE report earlier this year found no change in the rate at which global students accepted offers of admission, it found high levels of anxiety among students from India and the Middle East, who feared whether they would be able to secure visas and anxious for their physical safety. "Purdue-trained mentors will guide the student learning experience which also includes how to relate a study overseas experience toward career development and opportunities". This number also includes recent graduates who obtained employment eligibility in the United States and who are still affiliated with the university. The state's fall 2015 enrollment was a 5.6 percent increase from the prior year. The top host states were California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

UF Provost Joseph Glover said engineering and business programs were hit hard, with a significant decline in new students from India.

After years of rapid growth, enrollment of first-time worldwide students in USA colleges and universities dipped last year amid concerns about political uncertainty, tuition increases, visa delays and reductions in scholarship money, an annual survey found.

The University of Cincinnati ranked second in the state with 4,013 foreign students. Institute officials said other countries, notably Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, are recruiting foreign students more aggressively.

"International student exchange is an essential contributor to America's economic competitiveness and national security", Alyson Grunder, deputy assistant secretary of state for policy in the department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, said in a statement.

Notwithstanding the mounting uncertainties over career prospects for foreign professionals in the United States, the rush of Indian students flocking to American universities continues unabated, recording a 12.3 per cent growth during 2016-17.

The federal government estimates worldwide students contribute about $39 billion a year to local economies. Thanks to that program, a record 1.08 million worldwide students were enrolled in United States institutions of higher learning in 2016.

Many institutions have responded to the shifting social and political situation through a series of actions, such as alerting students about changes in US policies (65 percent), issuing statements in support of global students (63 percent), and creating opportunities to discuss current USA events (54 percent).

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