Weekly News Roundup: March 21, 2024

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By Shorelight Team
Published on March 21, 2024

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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A Surge in Science Students Leads to Optimism and Wariness

This is great reporting by Karin Fischer about the US being the destination of choice for international students studying in high-demand STEM fields. A new report, The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2024, highlights that 465,000 international students were enrolled in STEM studies in 2022.

  • “The U.S. has long been a global magnet for talent,” said Daniel Reed, chairman of the science board and a professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Utah. “That’s been one of our superpowers, that the best and the brightest on the planet want to study and work here. We have to preserve that. But it’s not a given.”

Read more on The Chronicle of Higher Education >

A Record Quarter of a Million International Students Denied Visas, 36 Percent of Applicants

Hopefully, many of you remember that Shorelight and the Presidents’ Alliance co-authored a report last July, The Interview of a Lifetime. Our report analyzed the global visa refusal rates between 2015-2022. The report was picked up globally and is still being utilized. In this report from the CATO Institute, they don’t cite our reporting; however, their data is in line with our findings. Our team is working on a 2024 update and will have that data released soon.

  • “Student visas usually had a similar rejection rate to other nonimmigrant visa applicants. But from 2021 and 2023, student visas were denied at nearly twice the rate of all other applicants. The student visa denial rate increased from a low of 15 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2023.”

Learn more on the Cato Institute website >

After the Pandemic, Young Chinese Again Want to Study Abroad, Just Not So Much in the US

We have all been following the changes post-pandemic to international student flows. For decades, China has sent more students abroad than any other country. However, in 2023, we saw a shift with India outperforming China. There are a lot of factors that have impacted the decline in students from China, including the pandemic, safety concerns in the US, political tensions, and the economy. The good news is that Chinese students’ interest in studying abroad has been rebounding after the pandemic. For the US, we need to acknowledge our changing relationship with China and the impacts on student choice.

  • “International education is a bridge,” said Fanta Aw, executive director of the NAFSA Association of International Educators, based in Washington. “A long-term bridge, because the students who come today are the engineers of the future. They are the politicians of the future, they are the business entrepreneurs of the future. Not seeing that pipeline as strong means that we in the U.S. have to pay attention, because China-U.S. relations are very important.”

Get the full story on The Washington Post >