SEVP Data Indicates US International Student Enrolment Dropped by 1.2% in 2021


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Apr 22, 2022 01:50 PM IST

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) shows that the number of international students on F-1 and M-1 visas in the US declined by 1.2 per cent, although the student trends are still moving in the right direction. 


SEVP Data Indicates US International Student Enrolment Dropped by 1.2% in 2021

Latest Update (April 22, 2022):As per a report by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), international students footfall in the USA saw a slight decline in 2021. However, the trends are still moving in the right direction.

The annual report on student trends shows that foreign students on F-1 and M-1 visas in the US dropped by 1.2 per cent, adding that 1,236,748 students were in the country last year.

The report also included data on K-12 numbers. It shows that the number of K-12 students coming to the US dropped by 16 percent.

Also Read:Long-Term Stay Rate High Among International STEM PhD Graduates in US: Report

Executive director of the Presidents Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, Miriam Feldblum, said that countries like Canada are opening up more opportunities for international students. She added that the data related to foreign students coming to the US for postsecondary education shows trends coming back.

Miriam thinks that the numbers will continue to recover soon.

While on the other hand, the senior director for IEM-ISS Services and volunteer engagement at NAFSA, Joann Ng Hartmann said that they are reporting increases in applications from international students.

He asserted that the US institutes need to be strategic and intentional in outreach in Asia. Virginia Commonwealth Universitys Global Education Office executive director, Jill Blondin said that despite thesignificant impact of COVID-19 on student enrollment, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) data is "promising, and shows some notable trends."

Also Read:US Embassy in India to Process 8 Lakh Visas in 12 Months, says US Diplomat

Blondin highlighted that except for Asia and Australia, all continents have seen a hike in the number of student enrollment. After 2020, the biggest increase came from Africa, where 9.3 per cent of students selected the US to study abroad as compared to the 2020 report.

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According to a record released by Boundless, fewer international students studied in the US in recent years although the upcoming academic year is expected to see an upward trend.

The report highlighted that there were a total of 1.25 million active records for F-1 and M-1 students in 2020, a decrease of 17.86% from the previous year.

In 2020, US schools, on the whole, saw a 72% decline in new student enrolment as compared to 2019.

Also Read: Pittsburg State University to Offer Incentives to Fully Vaccinated Students

The further cited reasons for the decline, which included visa delays and denials, competition from colleges and universities in other countries and rigid immigration policies introduced by the Trump administration.

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However, 43% of US higher education institutions have registered a rise in international student applications for the current (2021-22) academic year. This uptick has been attributed to the coming of the new administration, its flexible immigration policies and COVID-19 posing less of a threat in some parts of the US.

According to publicly available reports, in 2020, international students from 226 countries came to study in the US, with China being the largest source of origin, followed by India. The number of active students from the two countries stood at 3.82 lakh and 2.07 lakh respectively.

Four schools including Columbia University, New York University, Northeastern University and University of Southern California were the most popular last year, with each enrolling over 15,000 international students.

Around 50% of the total international students studied in California, Massachusetts, Florida and Texas.

Also Read: International Students Confused Over Vaccination Requirements in the US

Most international students in the US enrolled in SEVP-certified associate, bachelors, masters and doctoral programs, with degree courses in STEM being the most popular.

During the 2019-20 academic year, the three most popular study fields were Engineering with 2.20 lakh international students, Maths and Computer Science with 2.05 lakh students and Business and Management with 1.74 lakh students.

Source: The PIE News

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