For many years, US colleges and universities sought out international students and highlighted their presence on campuses. Yet recently, global competition for college students has been increasing and more colleges outside the US are seeking to attract students.
US is Now #4
At this year’s annual conference, NACAC reported that European student enrollments are on a sharp rise in Canada and the UK. As the cost of tuition at US universities continues to rise, international students are finding that non-US colleges offer a better value. In fact, amongst all international students, the US is now #4 behind Canada, the UK and Australia.
Furthermore, more and more US applicants are also turning to Canadian institutions. The University of Toronto, for example, saw an 80% increase in US applications alongside an increase in international students. US applications at McGill University were up 25% and up 50% at Ryerson University (in downtown Toronto) last year.
According to NACAC, “international students are looking beyond the US due to the current political climate and other factors.” Immigration denials was a big factor leading to a downturn in applications from China and Asia. Amongst European students, New Zealand is also becoming more popular as well as Dutch universities which saw an 150% increase in applications.
Changing Recruitment Strategy
Nevertheless, US colleges are not discouraged and say they will modify their recruitment methods. “Many are thinking about spring travel abroad, adding interviews to gauge interest, more communication that campus is safe” and that international students are welcomed. Colleges also will turn to recruiting international students who are already in the US attending high school here.