Note From the Editor
The new Open Doors 2023 report, kicking off International Education Week (IEW), flaunts a surge in international student enrollment in the US: breaching the 1 million student mark in 2022-23 as the highest growth rate in over four decades, a 14% year-over-year increase in new enrollment, and a $38 billion contribution to the economy.
In landmark decisions, Canada’s federal court has reversed the IRCC’s work permit refusals for two foreign nationals amid the absence of formal language requirements for their work positions. In the UK, a recent report in the Financial Times reveals a significant disparity in academic outcomes at UK universities, with non-EU international students less likely to receive top degrees compared to their British counterparts.
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The United States has experienced a remarkable surge in international student enrollment, surpassing one million students during the 2022-23 academic year and marking a rapid 12% increase from the previous year and the highest growth rate in over four decades, according to the new Open Doors 2023 Report. This report, released by the US Department of State and the Institute of International Education (IIE), also highlights a 14% year-over-year increase in new international student enrollment, contributing nearly $38 billion to the US economy. China and India remained as top sending countries, with Sub-Saharan Africa showing substantial regional growth. IIE CEO Allan E. Goodman touts the presence of over 1 million international students studying in the US as indicative of robust recovery, with the figure nearing pre-pandemic levels.
In landmark decisions, Canada’s federal court has reversed the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) work permit refusals for two foreign nationals. The cases, involving an Iranian construction project coordinator and an Indian farm worker, highlights the unreasonable refusal based on the applicants’ English language proficiency despite the absence of formal language requirements for their respective positions. The court’s ruling emphasizes the need for clear justification in visa decisions and the importance of providing sufficient proof of language proficiency in work permit applications.
A recent report in the Financial Times has revealed a significant disparity in academic outcomes at UK universities, with non-EU international students less likely to receive top degrees compared to their British counterparts. The data, particularly stark within Russell Group institutions, raises concerns about the potential compromise of academic standards amid financial strains and a growing dependency on higher tuition fees from international students. Universities are now focusing on strategies to address this gap, amid calls for maintaining global educational excellence.
Amid a housing crisis, over 10% of international students in Ireland are scammed in housing searches and 1 in 20 encounter “sex for rent” offers. Other widespread issues include extortionate rents, with 1% paying over €1,000 ($1,087.81) monthly, and severe overcrowding, as 81% share rooms. International students’ mental health, too, potentially suffers significantly due to these crises. The report highlights the urgent need for safer, affordable housing solutions and increased regulatory oversight to protect foreign students and maintain Ireland’s reputation as a quality educational destination.
A recent Study.eu survey highlights France as a top choice for international students, with 79% valuing its quality education. Paris leads in popularity, favored by 71% of respondents. The survey indicates the country’s academic excellence, career opportunities, and cultural allure as major draws. France’s universities, besides being educational landmarks, offer promising career pathways, as reflected in the 63% of students planning to remain after their studies. The nation also recorded an 8% surge in international student enrollment in 2021-22, hitting a 15-year high and solidifying its status as a leading global education hub.
Effective November 25, 2023, Australia is revising its Employer Nominated visas, affecting subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) and Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Stream, Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) visas. Key changes include removing the cap on short-term TSS visa applications within Australia, allowing employers to nominate candidates from all TSS streams, and abolishing the skilled migration occupation list for nominated roles. The TRT stream’s nomination requirement is reduced to two out of three years. Age exemptions are adjusted for specific applicants, aiming to streamline permanent residency pathways for skilled temporary workers. Specialist advice is recommended for individual cases.
The Ste. Louise Outreach Food Bank in Brampton, Ontario, is said to be compelled to turn away international students due to an overwhelming demand exceeding its capacity. Catherine Rivera, the board president, reports a significant influx of students, leading to a depletion of resources meant for local families in need. The food bank now displays a sign explicitly barring international students, citing compliance with Canadian government regulations on financial self-sufficiency for study permits. The situation is thought to spotlight broader issues within the study permit policy and its impact on local community resources.
New Zealand’s immigration agency has abolished the 90-day trial period for Accredited Employer Work Visa holders, effective October 29, 2023, a move said to protect migrant workers from exploitation and ensure fair employment practices. The policy change, addressing labor shortages, mandates employers to hire migrants only for genuine labor demands or skill gaps. Additionally, the reforms extend processing times for visa applications, urging employers to plan submissions in advance. The revision also applies to recent Green List immigration applicants, reflecting New Zealand’s move toward addressing skill shortages in critical sectors.
The 2023 Open Doors Report highlights a remarkable 31% increase in Ghanaian students choosing US universities for higher education, totaling over 6,400 in the 2022-23 academic year. Ghana now ranks among the top 25 countries sending students to the US, with 4,140 pursuing graduate degrees. STEM fields, notably math and computer science, remain popular choices. The US Embassy, processing a record number of student visas, hosted the largest-ever EducationUSA college fairs in Ghana, attracting over 13,000 participants, a surge underscoring the African country tapping into global educational opportunities.
The influx of Indian students to US universities is revitalizing international enrollments, compensating for the plateau in Chinese admissions amid heightened geopolitical tensions and economic shifts. This trend underscores the evolving global economic landscape and changing educational priorities, with Indian families increasingly perceiving US education as a gateway to improved career opportunities and social mobility. The surge reflects India’s robust economic growth, fueling the aspirations of its burgeoning middle class to seek world-class education abroad, particularly in prestigious US institutions.
In the Netherlands, international student enrollment shows a marginal increase for master’s degrees but declines for bachelor’s programs, reflecting a cautious approach by universities amid new legislation and a housing shortage. The Universities Netherlands (UNL) urges the government to avoid radical measures that could harm education quality, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach to manage foreign student intake and address labor market shortages. This issue becomes a focal point in the ongoing election campaign, with political parties advocating for limits and a shift toward Dutch-language degrees.
International students in Canada are falling prey to a wave of fraudulent admission letter scams, orchestrated by unauthorized recruiters. The Canadian government has initiated measures to combat this fraud, but there are calls for stronger actions against ghost consultants and institutions complicit in these schemes. Advocates stress the need for systemic solutions beyond mere verification of documents, while some argue for greater student vigilance and harsher penalties for unethical practices.
Over one million international students contributed $40.1 billion to the U.S. economy in the 2022-23 academic year, a 19% increase from the previous year. This resurgence, as reported by NAFSA and the Open Doors report, signals a recovery from pandemic lows, with a 12% increase in student numbers to 1,057,188. Their spending supports various sectors and 368,333 jobs, highlighting the significant role of international education in U.S. economic and cultural vitality.
The University of Missouri–St. Louis, a Tier 1 national research university, champions academic excellence and diversity with over 15,000 students. It boasts a rich campus across 350 acres and contributes significantly to the St. Louis region through its 80,000-strong alumni network. Recognized for its impactful online programs, veteran support, and commitment to social mobility, UMSL stands out in higher education. It excels in areas like cyber defense education and energy technology innovation, with research driving regional economic growth exceeding $429 million.
Nipissing University’s Bachelor of Fine Art offers students three major areas of study: Art History and Visual Studies, Studio Art, and Film Studies. Within this department, students can access exceptional research and exhibition opportunities that facilitate their professional growth. The department prides itself on maintaining small class sizes, fostering a collegial atmosphere, and featuring award-winning instructors with extensive industry connections. Students benefit from generous studio space and a picturesque natural setting that enhances their creative endeavors. At Nipissing, students can explore the diversity of art history, cultivate their creative voices, or immerse themselves in the world of filmmaking.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.