Biden Administration Improves Int’l Students' Perception of the US: Survey


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Mar 22, 2021 07:39 PM IST

IDP Connect conducted a survey that revealed the international students were perceiving the US in a better image with the new Biden Administration. 76% of the participants viewed the US as a favourable study abroad destination, with the likelihood of choosing the US increasing.

Biden Administration Improves Int’l Students' Perception of the US: Survey

With the change in the US administration, a number of prospective international students have affirmed that the US is now a more attractive study abroad destination. A study that was recently conducted by IDP Connect revealed that the students see the US as a more favourable study abroad destination.

The IDP survey took into account 800 aspiring study abroad students, 76% of whom, stated that the Joe Biden administration, which was elected in November 2020, improved the perception of the US. Additionally, 67% of the participants were more likely to choose the US as their study abroad destination.

The IDP Connect survey regarding the perception of the US after the election of Joe Biden among international students revealed the following reasons as to why international students would choose the country for their higher education:

  • 64% highlighted the equality of teaching in the US, as compared to their home country.

  • 59% had the perception that the country is modern, progressive and dynamic.

  • 46% chose the US simply due to the location of the university of their choice.

  • 43% highlighted the vast opportunities to work part-time.

Among these common responses from the participants, 33% of the total respondents were attracted by multiculturalism within the US and its Universities.

Among these respondents, more than 27% stated that the change in the administration did not affect their likelihood of studying in the US, while, 7% of the respondents stated that the 2020 US Presidential Election result highlighted that they had a worse perception of the US.

In a statement from IDP Connects CEO, Simon Emmett, since the election results, the search volume for the US with regard to international students, had surpassed the UK and was growing.

With the new international student-friendly approach from the new administration, compared to the previous administration, he wondered if, in the long-term, the perception of the US as a study abroad destination, among the international student cohort, would improve.

Responses from the participants also revealed that expectations of improvements in the welfare of the international students, post-study work visa policies, the safety of the citizens and the visitors along the economic stability of the US, were anticipated from the Biden administration.

Responses and evidence highlighted by the survey back the claims of many stakeholders who suggested that the international education sector of the US would benefit from the election of the Biden administration, thus attracting more international students to the country.

The Survey will also prove beneficial in influencing institutions and universities to change and update their recruitment strategies, stated Emmett. He added that the universities and colleges in the US should take the opportunity to support the students in their decision-making process.

Further revelations from the IDP Connects survey highlighted the political awareness of the prospective international students in the global political discussions, with many considering such factors in their decision of choosing their study abroad destination.

Also Read: US Witnesses 39% Decline in First-time International Graduate Enrolment Numbers

The survey revealed that over around 47% of the participants claimed high levels of US political awareness, while 42% claimed low levels for the same. Among the 47% of the participants that claimed high levels of awareness, 86% stated that they have a better perception of the country after the election polls, Emmett stated.

A large number of the responses that were received, i.e. 69%, stated that the expectations of the Biden Administration positively affecting their home countries as well.

Students from Africa were more likely to choose a study abroad destinations in the US and Canada, as compared to those from the South-East Asian and Middle-Eastern countries, who would choose the US and the UK.

Also Read: Survey: Number of Foreign Scholars in the US Dropped by 9.6% in 2020

Among these, a number of students were still considering other countries as their study abroad destinations. 50% of the respondents were considering Canada, while 41% of the participants have considered the UK and 28% considered Australia as their preferred study abroad destination.

With the perception of the US improving among the international students, IDP highlights that the three study abroad destinations, i.e. the UK, Canada and Australia would face increasing competition in future intake cycles.

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