The number of overseas students applying to enroll in the US postgraduate programs has declined for the first time in 13 years, according to data.
Applications from aspiring foreign graduate students fell by three percent between fall 2016 and fall 2017, while first-time enrollment of foreign graduate students declined by one percent, a survey by the Council of Graduate Schools revealed.
It is said to be the first time that the survey has witnessed falls for applications as well as enrollment since fall 2004.
The decline was seen mainly in the certificate and master’s programs, which saw a 4.8 percent decline in applications and a 2.8 percent fall in enrollment. On the other hand, first-time overseas enrollment in doctoral programs increased by 1.8 percent.
Entitled ‘International Graduate Applications and Enrollment: Fall 2017’, the report was an outcome of a survey of 377 educational institutions in the US. According to it, the recent modification to immigration policy of the US was responsible for the drops.
The number of Indian applications and enrollment also fell by 15 percent and 13 percent, respectively, in the year to fall 2017. This is said to be the first time since fall 2012 that dip in applications from India was witnessed. That said, India is the second-largest source for foreign graduate applications, total overseas graduate enrollment and first-time enrollment, next only to China.
Although European applications rose by 18 percent, first-time enrollment of students from Europe grew by one percent only, a fall from eight percent in the fall 2016.
Suzanne Ortega, the CGS (Council of Graduate Schools) president, was quoted by The Times Higher Education as saying that while the decrease in graduate applications and enrollment were concerned, acceptance rates of applications and admission yield rates remained unchanged from 2016.
She said that this indicated that prospective foreign graduate students are still willing to accept admission offers to US graduate schools.
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