Weekly News Round-Up: July 27, 2023

By Shorelight Team
Published on July 27, 2023

Each week the Shorelight team rounds up trusted headlines on the latest in international education and all things impacting students and universities.

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Shorelight And President’s Alliance Report Shows Disproportionate F-1 Visa Denials In Africa And The Global South

Our Public Affairs and Analytic teams at Shorelight have been working with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration on a joint report that digs into global visa adjudication rates, particularly in Africa and the Global South where we anecdotally knew students were facing higher denial rates. The report demonstrate with data that there are large discrepancies in denials based on region. The full report can be found at shorelight.com.

“Key findings of the report reveal that F-1 student visa denials have grown significantly in the past eight years across three administrations. In 2015, higher rates of F-1 visa denials were primarily clustered in Africa(with the exception of South Africa), South Asia, and parts of the Middle East. By 2022, F-1 visa denials were seen across much of the world, with the exception of Australia, China, Brazil, South Africa, and some European countries.

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Additional Media Coverage:

Countries Introduce New Strategies To Attract International Students

I spend a lot of time talking about global competition with HE associations and with Members of Congress and their staff. The international student landscape is changing rapidly and our global competitors are actively developing strategies and policies to attract and retain students. It is past time for the US address competition by developing our own “whole of government” strategy to increase international education in the US.

“In this fierce competition, some countries remain more attractive than others. Germany has outperformed France, primarily due to the diversity of its English-language programs and more active involvement from businesses. Germany is indeed investing in retaining its international students. On the other hand, Turkey faces the challenge of a limited job market for foreigners, with certain fields restricted by law (e.g., medicine). In France, efforts are underway to address the paradox: while many international students desire to stay, only a portion actually do so. According to the Council for Employment Guidance, this is partly due to a visa policy perceived as restrictive and limited access to employment opportunities. Another area of focus for countries is simplifying visa procedures to retain their foreign talents. France aims to attract 500,000 international students by 2027.”

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US Sector Applauds Gov’t Export Strategy

The HE sector has been calling for a coordinated international student strategy for years. Earlier this year, the US Dept. of Commerce announced that a chapter on international education would be included in the US National Export Strategy. That report has finally been released and international education does have it’s own chapter (pages 58-64). While the content included, doesn’t include significant changes to the agencies current strategy, it does acknowledge that they are now working with the Dept. of Education and Dept. of State and that international education must be considered a “crucial” national export.

″‘It is gratifying to see the agency recognize the economic and strategic advantages associated with international education and exchange and it speaks to the high level of respect and communication between our sector and the department,’ said Jill Allen Murray, NAFSA’s deputy executive director of public policy. She added that NAFSA has long been advocating for the government to make a ‘coordinated commitment to international education’ to ensure the country has the talent pool necessary to ‘innovate and engage with the world.’”

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