US should do better in undergrad int’l enrollment, UK visa shift favors MBA hopefuls w/o dependents, and more in this week’s MSM Reporter

US should do better in undergrad int’l enrollment, UK visa shift favors MBA hopefuls w/o dependents, and more in this week’s MSM Reporter

Note From the Editor

The US “cannot rest on its laurels” as international students’ contributions to all aspects of American society “are too important,” warns NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Dr. Fanta Aw. Citing data from the Open Doors 2023 Report and IIE’s Fall 2023 Snapshot Survey, she notes that the increase in international student enrollment in the US has been driven by enrollees in graduate, not undergraduate, programs. The chief executive highlights the formation of the US for Success Coalition (USSC), where NAFSA is among the 11 founding member organizations.


In the UK, new visa regulations restricting accompanying dependents for students except those pursuing doctoral or research-based higher degrees may inadvertently benefit single MBA hopefuls, while in Canada, calls advocating for the permanent extension of foreign students’ eligibility to work more than 20 hours per week continue. 


Head over to for more international education news, insights, and thought leadership this week, or stay up-to-date on intl ed news in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.



NAFSA chief says US needs to do more to attract international students

Despite recent increases in international student enrollment, primarily in graduate programs, NAFSA’s Executive Director and CEO Fanta Aw has emphasized the need for the United States to improve its appeal to international undergraduates. The US does not “make it easy for international students to bring their talents here,” Aw says, citing findings from the Open Doors 2023 Report and IIE’s Fall 2023 Snapshot Survey. Aw highlights the challenges faced by students from the Global South due to high visa denial rates and calls for greater inclusivity and government partnerships. The newly formed US for Success Coalition, where NAFSA is a founding member, aims to diversify student origins, support success across a broader range of institutions, and develop national strategies for international education.

MSM Reporter

UK visa shift creates rare chance for MBA hopefuls without dependents

The United Kingdom’s new visa regulations, effective from January 1, 2024, will restrict accompanying dependents for students except those pursuing doctoral or research-based higher degrees and may inadvertently benefit single prospective MBA students. This change, aimed at limiting the influx of dependents, is feared to disadvantage international students with families and who contribute significantly to university finances. The policy has caused concern among business schools, as over 40% report potential shortfalls in their 2023-24 international student enrolment targets, particularly affecting applicants from India and China.


Canada’s international students want to keep working more than 20 hours per week

In a pressing call for economic stability, international students in Canada are advocating for the permanent extension of their eligibility to work more than 20 hours per week. This plea follows the temporary lifting of the 20-hour cap in November 2022 by then-Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, a response to labor shortages and economic growth needs. As the December 31st deadline approaches, students and organizations like the Canadian Federation of Students and the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change highlight the critical need for this change, emphasizing the harsh financial realities faced by these students, including high tuition, rising living costs, and the vulnerability to exploitation without proper work rights.

Canada Immigration News

Sex-for-rent’ int’l students in Ireland are being offered accommodation in exchange for sex, report

A new report highlights a disturbing accommodation scam in Ireland, where international students are being propositioned with sex-for-rent offers. The Irish Council of International Students’ research, involving 819 students from 73 countries, found that one in 20 face such proposals. The study also reveals broader accommodation issues, including overcrowding, scams, high rents, and poor living conditions, significantly impacting students’ mental health and Ireland’s reputation as a study destination.

Free Press Journal

This country in Europe is allowing people to work without residence, work permits

Denmark has recently amended its immigration regulations, permitting certain foreign nationals to work in the country for short periods without needing residence or work permits. Effective November 17, these new rules apply to individuals employed by foreign companies with links to Danish businesses having at least 50 employees. The policy facilitates two 15-day work stints within a 180-day period, targeting managerial roles and specialized skill sets. Exemptions exist for various professionals, including diplomats, guest teachers, artists, board members, and specific workers with short-term assignments.

Business Today

International students' interest in Aus and NZ rises

In a striking post-pandemic educational trend, Australia has witnessed a record-breaking influx of international students, reaching an unprecedented total of 725,000 this year. Representing a substantial 31% increase from the previous year, this surge comes amid Australia’s ongoing battles with high inflation and a severe housing crisis, prompting calls for the government to consider capping international student numbers. Although numbers are not at Australian levels, New Zealand – despite its stringent COVID-19 border policies – has also seen a significant rise in international student interest. Chris Whelan, Universities New Zealand Director, highlights that unlike the UK or Canada, which remained open during the pandemic, New Zealand has managed to hit its growth targets just 18 months into the reopening, signaling robust recovery in the sector.


US introduces new rules for Indians applying for student visas

In response to rising fraud concerns, the US has implemented stricter rules for Indians applying for F, M, and J student visas, effective November 27. The new policy requires applicants to provide accurate passport information when creating profiles and scheduling appointments. Incorrect details will lead to appointment cancellations and visa fee forfeiture. This measure coincides with an unprecedented surge in Indian student enrollments in the US, with a 35% increase reported in the 2022-23 academic year. Indian students now represent over 25% of international students in US institutions, surpassing China as the top source of international graduate students for the first time in over a decade.

Economic Times

Canada embassy issues student visas in record time

Indian students from Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, are receiving their Canadian student visas at unprecedented speeds, with processing times as short as six days. This swift visa issuance comes despite recent tensions in Indo-Canadian diplomatic relations, particularly affecting those bound for the January 2024 academic intake. Visa consultant Bhavin Thakar reports a significant reduction in the usual processing time, facilitating better travel arrangements for students like Nisarg Patel and Himanshi Trivedi, who have secured admissions in renowned Canadian institutions.

The Times of India

Vermont gunman fired as investment adviser weeks before arrest in Palestinian student shooting

Jason Eaton, recently terminated from his role as an investment adviser, faces attempted murder charges following the attack on three Palestinian students near the University of Vermont. The victims are Hisham Awartani, a junior at Brown University; Kinnan Abdalhamid, a student at Haverford College in Pennsylvania; and Tahseen Ahmed, a student at Trinity College in Connecticut. The incident, which occurred as the students were en route to a Thanksgiving dinner, is being investigated as a potential hate crime amid rising Islamophobia. Two victims are stable, while the third has suffered serious injuries. US Attorney General Merrick Garland has indicated federal involvement in the investigation.


141,000 Nigerians sought refuge in the UK between June 2022 and June 2023

Around 141,000 Nigerians migrated to the UK from June 2022 to June 2023, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics. This figure places Nigeria among the top five non-EU countries contributing to the UK’s immigration influx. The increase in Nigerian migrants aligns with the UK government’s recent announcement to modify immigration laws, targeting a reduction in the nation’s soaring net migration. These changes, effective from January next year, include stricter rules for family members of foreign students and limitations on student visas. Despite these impending restrictions, the number of Nigerians studying in the UK has risen sharply, from 6,798 in 2017 to 59,053 by December 2022, along with a parallel increase in their dependents.

Business Insider Africa

Australia ranks among the leading preferences for Filipinos pursuing to study abroad

In a recent study by IDP Education Philippines, Canada and Australia emerge as top preferences for Filipino students seeking higher education abroad. These countries offer not only quality education but also the opportunity to work while studying and potential pathways for migration. The UK, New Zealand, the US, and Ireland are also popular options for prospective international students from the Philippines. Educational institutions, however, stress the importance of mental, emotional, and financial preparedness for students aspiring to study overseas.


Bhutan emerges as hotspot for international students

Bhutan, traditionally known for its own students seeking education abroad, is now attracting international students as a sign of a significant shift in global education dynamics. The country has become a new favorite for students seeking a blend of academic excellence and cultural immersion. Two 16-year-old Australian students have enrolled in a Bhutanese private school, choosing an extended five-month stay over shorter programs. The students’ experience, rated highly in terms of happiness and personal growth, reflects Bhutan’s approach to education, which combines rigorous academic standards with cultural experiences and adventure. 

The Sunday Guardian

Featured Institution - Abertay University

Nestled in Dundee’s heart, Abertay University melds its 1888 heritage with cutting-edge educational approaches. Celebrated for its top-ranked video game education in Europe, Abertay offers diverse programs like Ethical Hacking and Mental Health Nursing, emphasizing practical experience. Its compact campus showcases a blend of historic and modern facilities, including specialized labs. Acclaimed for teaching quality, Abertay was the 2021 Sunday Times University of the Year for Teaching Quality. It’s known for an inclusive, supportive environment, championing access to higher education for a diverse student body.

Abertay University

Featured Program - Bachelor of Computer Science

Acadia University’s Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS) program is designed to meet and surpass CIPS and ACM standards. This comprehensive 4-year degree focuses on a blend of computational theory, systems architecture, and practical skills including problem solving, systems analysis, and application development. Students must complete core courses with at least a C- grade and maintain a minimum CGPA of 2.0. The curriculum includes key CS courses, mathematics, and electives from arts and professional studies, emphasizing interpersonal skills, teamwork, and project management. Graduation requires adherence to program specifications and a program GPA of at least 2.00.

Acadia University

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