Note From the Editor
There is a shift in the enrollment trend of foreign students in the United States as the total of Chinese enrollees declined by 8.6 percent, indicating lesser interest in the US as a preferred destination, while in contrast, Indian student numbers increased by 19 percent. Concerns about safety, gun violence, civil unrest, and visa restrictions contributed to the decline.
In Canada, the rapid growth of foreign student numbers is causing challenges as students end up on the front lines of the country’s housing crisis. Analysts are urging policymakers to bring stability to the situation, recommending that provinces demand a five-year plan for international students from post-secondary institutions.
All these key developments and more from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe in this week’s edition of MSM Reporter.
Chinese student enrollment in the United States declined by 8.6 percent to 290,000, while Indian student numbers rose by 19 percent to 200,000, indicating a shift away from the US as a preferred destination. Safety concerns, including gun violence and civil unrest, as well as visa restrictions on Chinese graduate students, have contributed to this decline. As a result, the US has experienced economic losses and a reduction in access to high-tech talents, while countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Singapore have become more attractive options for Chinese students.
The number of foreign students in Canada has increased by 31 percent compared to the previous year, reaching over 800,000 students. However, these students are facing challenges such as the housing crisis and educational institutions that do not meet their expectations. Analysts suggested that policymakers should establish a five-year plan with clear targets for international students, demand accountability from post-secondary institutions, and collect data on graduation rates and employment outcomes to ensure the program’s effectiveness.
“Red wall” Conservative MPs are pressuring British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to reduce net migration in the UK before the next election. They have proposed a 12-point plan to cut migration from 606,000 to 226,000 by the end of 2024, including measures such as limiting worker visas for care workers, ending post-study work visas for international students, and allowing only skilled workers earning £38,000 ($49,246) or more per year. Critics have raised concerns about the potential economic and social consequences of the proposed measures.
Erasmus+ has provided significant funding of up to €14.4 million ($15.77 million) per alliance, totaling €402.2 million ($437.5 million), to promote collaboration among European University alliances. The initiative has expanded to include seven new alliances, bringing the total number to 50, encompassing over 430 universities across 35 countries. The European Universities project aims to enhance education quality and enable students, researchers, and scholars to study, work, and combine experiences throughout the 27-nation area.
Melbourne has launched a framework to boost its international education sector and attract investment by leveraging diaspora and alumni communities. The plan aims to nurture talent, entrepreneurship, and employment pathways for international students while promoting Melbourne’s multicultural appeal. The city also seeks to strengthen ties with key Asian markets, including China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India.
Universities in New Zealand are seeking partnerships with Indian institutions to attract international students. The Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange, is close to partnering with a third New Zealand university, providing opportunities for Indian students to study in New Zealand. The pandemic has disrupted international student enrollment, but there is optimism that new approaches, such as pathway programs and non-dependent border programs, can help revitalize the sector, especially with the growing importance of Indian students in the coming years.
Last week, the United States Embassy in Abuja and the US Consulate General in Lagos held pre-departure orientations for hundreds of Nigerian students who will soon study in the United States. Around 700 Nigerian students, including 73 Opportunity Funds recipients, received EducationUSA advising services from the US Mission. The EducationUSA program, supported by the US Department of State, provides guidance on the US higher education admissions process through a network of international student advising centers worldwide.
The Canadian federal government is conducting a review of its international student program but has not disclosed any specific details for its completion. A survey conducted in British Columbia revealed that many international students end up working in unrelated fields and face challenges in obtaining permanent residency. Recommendations from the survey, such as addressing profit-driven immigration consultants and improving career resources, are being considered by the relevant authorities.
Germany is offering international students the opportunity to open a blocked account for free through Expatrio, saving them up to €109 ($120). Expatrio also provides additional services, such as Incoming Insurance, to help students secure their visas. The offer is valid until the end of July. The initiative aims to support international students in meeting the financial requirements for their stay in Germany.
Rising rents in Australia have led to an increasing number of international students resorting to “hot-bedding,” where they share a bed with a stranger to cut costs. A survey found that approximately 3 percent of international students in Sydney and Melbourne reported hot-bedding, and there are concerns that this number could increase. The recent removal of the cap on working hours for student visa holders is expected to worsen the situation, leading to higher rents and increased financial difficulties for students.
Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko expressed the city’s interest in fostering collaborations and exchange programs with Indian students, startups, and businesses during her recent visit to the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar. She acknowledged India’s progress in technology and highlighted the global impact of Indian startups. Tokyo aims to address global urban challenges through innovative projects and hopes to establish long-term connections with India.
China will increase investment in education to serve its national agenda and expand global influence, with a focus on talent development in areas like international communication and the law. China’s education ministry sets up teaching bases, trains students in basic sciences, and plans new schools, while their vocational training system produces millions of skilled workers annually. Despite scrutiny of Chinese postgraduate students abroad, the country has a significant number of students studying overseas, with a majority returning to China after completing their education.
Selkirk College, situated in southern British Columbia, is a renowned educational institution offering over 80 nationally recognized programs to more than 2,800 full-time learners. Spread across eight campuses in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions, the college provides a wide range of educational options, including certificates, diplomas, bachelor’s degrees, co-operative education, and continuing education programs. Selkirk College also provides in-demand employment outcomes, credit transfer opportunities, and career-enhancing training.
Despite its size, Selkirk College fosters a supportive and personalized learning environment where students can thrive. With small class sizes, individualized attention, and access to top-notch student services and facilities, students receive an exceptional educational experience.
The Automotive Technology Degree Program offers comprehensive training in the latest automotive technology standards for individuals passionate about diagnosing and repairing automobiles. Led by experienced and industry-certified instructors, students gain valuable skills through industry-standard computer software training, practical hands-on automotive techniques, and team building activities.
This program stands out with its highlights, including the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree along with certification from Ford Motor Company. Students also benefit from state-of-the-art facilities equipped with modern diagnostic and repair equipment, allowing them to develop their skills effectively. Additionally, the program’s accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation ensures that students receive a high-quality education recognized by the industry.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.