International student

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
International students in Liechtenstein

International students are those who travel to a country different from their own for the purpose of tertiary study.[1]

National definitions[edit]

The definition of "international student" varies in each country in accordance to their own national education system.[2]

In Australia, international students are defined as those studying onshore only with visa subclasses 570 to 575, excluding students on Australian-funded scholarships or sponsorship or students undertaking study while in possession of other temporary visas.[3] New Zealand citizens do not require a visa to study in Australia, so are not classed as international students.

In Japan, international students are defined as foreign nationals who study at any Japanese university, graduate school, junior college, college of technology, professional training college or university preparatory course on a ‘college student’ visa, as defined by the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.[3]

International Students in the United States[edit]

Annually around 750,000 Chinese and 400,000 Indian students apply to overseas higher education institutions,[4][5] This mobility is largely driven by rapidly increasing wealth which funds foreign travel and study. Much of the increase in international students in the U.S. during 2013–2014 was fueled by undergraduate students from China, the report's authors found. The number of Chinese students increased to 31 percent of all international students in the U.S. – the highest concentration the top country of origin has had since IIE began producing the report in 1948. [1] This is changing quickly with demographic projections showing a large impending decrease in volumes of international students from China and Russia and steady increases in international students from India and Africa. The number of international students in tertiary (university or college) education is also rapidly increasing as higher education becomes an increasingly global venture.[6] During 2014-15, 974,926 international students came to study in the U.S, which is almost double the population from 2005. Chinese students have always been the largest demographic amongst international students. The top 10 sending places of origin and percentage of total international student enrollment are: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, and Mexico. The total number of international students from all places of origin by field of study are: Business/Management, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Social Sciences, Physical and Life Sciences, Humanities, Fine and Applied Arts, Health Professions, Education, and Agriculture.[7]

Top 10 sending places of origin and percentage of total international student enrollment 2015-2016

Rank Place of Origin Number of Students Percent of Total
1 China 328,547 31.5%
2 India 165,918 15.9%
3 Saudi Arabia 61,287 5.9%
4 South Korea 61,007 5.8%
5 Canada 26,973 2.6%
6 Vietnam 21,403 2.1%
7 Taiwan 21,127 2.0%
8 Brazil 19,370 1.9%
9 Japan 19,060 1.8%
10 Mexico 16,733 1.6%

Total number of international students from all places of origin by field of study 2015-2016

Rank Field of Study Number of Students Percent of Total
1 Business and Management 200,312 19.2%
2 Engineering 216,932 20.8%
3 Other/Unspecified Subject Areas 185,107 17.7%
4 Mathematics and Computer Sciences 141,651 13.6%
5 Social Sciences 81,304 7.8%
6 Physical and Life Sciences 75,385 7.2%
7 Humanities 17,664 1.7%
8 Fine and Applied Arts 59,736 5.7%
9 Health Professions 33,947 3.3%
10 Education 19,483 1.9%
11 Agriculture 12,318 1.2%

Destinations of international students[edit]

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in their 2009 World Conference on Higher Education report, Over 2.5 million students were studying outside their home country. UNESCO also predicted that the number of international students might rise to approximately 7 million by the year 2020. The main destinations preferred by international students are the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Australia. Overall, the number of international students more than doubled to over 2 million between 2000 and 2007.[8]
However the sharpest percentage increases of international students have occurred in New Zealand, Korea, the Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland.[8]

In recent years, some Asian and Middle East countries have started to attract more international students. These regions have entered the market with declared ambitions to become regional education centers by attracting as many as several hundred thousand international students to their countries.[3]

Popular destinations[edit]

Top 10 countries for international student enrollment

Rank Destination country Total number of international students[9][10][11]
1  United States 1,043,839
2  United Kingdom 496,690
3  China 397,635
4  France 309,642
5  Australia 292,352
6  Russia 282,921
7  Canada 263,855
8  Germany 235,858
9  Japan 152,062
10  Northern Cyprus 79,673

The US is the undisputed leader with approximately 723,277 foreign enrollments in 2010-11,[12] Traditionally the U.S and U.K have been the most prestigious choices, due to dominating university top 10 rankings with the likes of Harvard, Oxford, MIT and Cambridge. More recently however they have had to compete with the rapidly growing Asian higher education market. While US is the leading destination for international students, there is increasing competition from several destinations in East Asia like China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan which are keen on attracting international students for reputation and demographic reasons.[13]

International student mobility in the first decade of the 21st century has been transformed by two major external events, 9/11 and the recession of 2008.[14] 9/11 forced US to tighten visa requirements for students and Australia and the UK cashed in on this opportunity and were successful in absorbing most of the growth in international students. The growth story for Australia and the UK would have continued, but the recession of 2008 exposed two aspects of international student enrollment in these countries—unmanageable high proportion of international students compared to home students and issues of quality raised by the use of aggressive recruitment practices.[15] In 2009, international students represented 21.5% and 15.3% of higher education enrollment in Australia and the UK, compared to less than 4% in the US, according to the OECD.[16]

According to OECD, almost one out of five international students is regionally mobile. This segment of regionally mobile students who seek global education at local cost is defined as "glocal" students. Many "glocal" students consider pursuing transnational or cross-border education which allows them to earn a foreign credential while staying in their home country.[17]

The number of US visas issued to Chinese students to study at US universities has increased by 30 per cent, from more than 98,000 in 2009 to nearly 128,000 in October 2010, placing China as the top country of origin for international students, according to the "2010 Open Doors Report" published on the US Embassy in China website. The number of Chinese students increased. Overall, the total number of international students with a US Visa to study at colleges and universities increased by 3 per cent to a record high of nearly 691,000 in the 2009/2010 academic year. The 30 per cent increase in Chinese student enrolment was the main contributor to this year's growth, and now Chinese students account for more than 18 percent of the total international students.[18]

Germany and France[edit]

In 2006, with approximately 20% of the world's foreign students, or 515,000 out of the 2.7 million students studying outside their countries, Germany and France are best understood as secondary higher education destinations.[3]

Japan, Canada and New Zealand[edit]

Japan, Canada and New Zealand are perceived as evolving destinations for international students. In 2006, Japan, Canada and New Zealand together shared roughly 13% of the international student market, with approximately 327,000 of the 2.7 million students who traveled abroad for the purposes of higher education.[3] Japan has around 180 000 overseas students studying at its institutions and the government has set targets to increase this to 300, 000 over the next few years.[19] Canada has seen a large increase in the number of Indian students, where the number of Indian students rose 280% in 2010 compared to 2008.[20] Organizations such as Learnhub are taking advantage of this growing trend of Indian international students by providing recruitment services that bring Indian students abroad.[21] In 2012, in Canada 10 percent of university students were international students.[22] Canada accepted more than 100,000 international students for the first time,[23] bringing the total number of international students in Canada to 260,000,[24] which is nearly identical to that of Australia's 280,000. Recent changes to Canada's immigration regulations that came into effect on January 1, 2015 have placed international graduates from Canadian universities at a disadvantage. Under the new rules, foreign students who hold a degree or diploma from Canadian educational institutions will be treated on par with other groups of skilled workers.[25]

Malaysia, Singapore and India[edit]

Malaysia, Singapore and India are the emerging destinations for international students. These three countries have combined share of approximately 12% of the global student market with somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000 students having decided to pursue higher education studies in these countries in 2005–2006.[3]

The flow of international students above indicates the South-North phenomenon. In this sense, students from Asia prefer to pursue their study particularly in the United States.

The recent statistics on mobility of international students can be found in;

  • The 2009 Global Education Digest (GED)[26] by UNESCO
  • International Flows of Mobile Students at the Tertiary Level[27] by UNESCO
  • Empowering People to Innovate - International Mobility[28] by OECD.


Prospective international students are usually required to sit for language tests, such as Cambridge English: First,[29] Cambridge English: Advanced,[30] Cambridge English: Proficiency,[31] IELTS,[32] TOEFL,[33] iTEP,[34] PTE Academic,[35] DELF[36] or DELE,[37] before they are admitted. Tests notwithstanding, while some international students already possess an excellent command of the local language upon arrival, some find their language ability, considered excellent domestically, inadequate for the purpose of understanding lectures, and/or of conveying oneself fluently in rapid conversations. A research report commissioned by NAFSA: Association of International Educators investigated the scope of third-party providers offerings intensive English preparation programs with academic credit for international students in the United States.[38] These pathway programs are designed to recruit and support international students needing additional help with English and academic preparation before matriculating to a degree program.

Student Visa[edit]

Generally, international students as citizens of other foreign countries are required to obtain a student visa, which ascertains their legal status for staying in the second country.[39] In the United States, before international students come to the country, the students must select a school to attend to qualify for a student visa. The course of study and the type of school an international student plans to attend determine whether an F-1 visa or an M-1 visa is needed. Each student visa applicant must prove they have the financial ability to pay for their tuition, books and living expenses while they study in the states.[40]

Economic impact[edit]

Research from the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA) shows the economic benefits of the increasing international higher-education enrollment in the United States. According to their 2013-2014 academic year analysis, international students have contributed $26.8 billion to the U.S economy and 340,000 jobs. This is almost a 12% increase in dollars added to the economy and an 8.5% increase associated with job support and creation compared to the previous year. International students contribute more than job and monetary gains to the economy. NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson has stated, "[international students] bring global perspectives into U.S. classrooms and research labs, and support U.S. innovation through science and engineering coursework."[41] According to NAFSA's research, their diverse views contribute to technological innovation has increased America's ability to compete in the global economy.

Higher education marketing[edit]

Marketing of higher education is a well-entrenched macro process today, especially in the major English-speaking nations i.e. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA. One of the major factors behind the worldwide evolution of educational marketing could be a result of globalization, which has dramatically shriveled the world. Due to intensifying competition for overseas students amongst MESDCs, i.e. major English-speaking destination countries, higher educational institutions recognize the significance of marketing themselves, in the international arena.[42] To build sustainable international student recruitment strategies Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) need to diversify the markets from which they recruit, both to take advantage of future growth potential from emerging markets, and to reduce dependency on – and exposure to risk from – major markets such as China, India and Nigeria, where demand has proven to be volatile.[43] For recruitment strategies, there are some approaches that higher education institutions adopt to ensure stable enrollments of international students, such as developing university preparation programs, like the Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) Program, and launching international branch campuses in foreign countries.

Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) Program[edit]

The Global Assessment Certification (GAC) Program is a university preparation program, developed and provided by ACT Education Solution, Ltd., for the purpose of helping students to prepare for admission and enrolment overseas.[7] Moreover, the program helps students from non-English speaking backgrounds to prepare for university-level study, so they are able to successfully finish a bachelor's degree at university. This program is primarily getting great attention from non-English-speaking countries like China and South Korea. Students who complete the GAC program have the opportunity to be admitted to 120 universities, so called Pathway Universities, located in popular destinations including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.[44] Mainly, the program consists of curriculums, such as Academic English, Mathematics, Computing, Study Skills, Business, Science and Social Science.Moreover, program also provides the opportunity to get prepared for the ACT exam and English Proficiency tests like TOEFL and IELTS.[45]

International branch campuses[edit]

International branch campus is a new strategy of recruiting international students in overseas countries in order to build strong global outreach by overcoming the limitations of physical distance. Indeed, opening international branch campuses play a significant role of widening the landscape of the international higher education. In the past, along with high demand for higher education, many universities in the United States established their branch campuses in foreign countries.[46] According to a report by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE), there was a 43% increase in the number of international branch campuses in the worldwide scale since 2006. American higher education institutions mostly take a dominant position in growth rate and the number of international branch campuses, accounting for almost 50 percent of current international branch campuses.[47] However, some research reports that recently said internationally branching campuses are facing several challenges and setbacks, for example interference of local government,[48] sustainability problems, and long-term prospects like damage on academic reputations and finance.

The challenges for international students in English-speaking countries[edit]

There is a trend for more and more students to go abroad to study in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia to gain a broader education.[citation needed] English is the only common language spoken at universities in these countries. International students not only need to acquire good communication skills and fluent English both in writing and speaking, but also absorb the Western academic writing culture in style, structure, reference, and the local policy toward academic integrity in academic writing.[49] International students may have difficulty completing satisfactory assignments because of the difficulty with grammar and spelling, differences in culture, or a lack of confidence in English academic writing. Insightful opinions may lose the original meaning when transformed from the student's native language to English. Even if international students acquire good scores in English proficiency exams or are able to communicate with native British students frequently in class, they often find that the wording and formatting of academic papers in English-speaking universities are different from what they are used to.[50]

Most international students encounter difficulties in language use. Such issues make it difficult for the student to make domestic friends and gain familiarity with the local culture. Sometimes, these language barriers can subject international students to ignorance or disrespect from native speakers.[51] Most international students are also lacking a support groups in the country they are studying. Although all the colleges in North America, that are in a student exchange programs, do have International Student Office, it sometimes does not have resources and capability to consider their students' individual needs when it comes to adapting the new environment. The more a particular college has students coming from the same country the better the support is for getting involved to the new culture.

International students have several challenges in their academic studies at North American universities. Studies have shown that these challenges include several different factors: inadequate English proficiency; unfamiliarity with North American culture; lack of appropriate study skills or strategies; academic learning anxiety; low social self-efficacy; financial difficulties; and separation from family and friends.[52] Despite the general perception that American culture is characterized more by diversity than by homogeneity, the American ideology of cultural homogeneity implies an American mindset that because Eurocentric cultures are superior to others, people with different cultures should conform to the dominant monocultural canon and norms.[53]

U.S. colleges and universities have long welcomed students from China, where their higher-education system cannot meet the demand. Three years ago, a record 10 million students throughout China took the national college entrance test, competing for 5.7 million university slots. Because foreign undergraduates typically fail to qualify for U.S. federal aid, colleges here can provide limited financial help. Now, thanks to China's booming economy in recent years, more Chinese families can afford to pay. U.S. colleges also face challenges abroad. Worries about fraud on test scores and transcripts make occasional headlines. And even Chinese students who test high on an English-language proficiency test may not be able to speak or write well enough to stay up to speed in a U.S. classroom, where essay writing and discussions are common.[54] Chinese international students face other challenges besides language proficiency. The Chinese educational structure focuses on exam-oriented education, with educational thinking and activities aimed towards meeting the entrance examination. Students stress more on exam performance, and teachers are inclined to focus on lecturing to teach students what may be on the test. In addition, "parents are also convinced that the more students listened to the lectures, the better they would score on the finals."[55] With more than 304,040 Chinese students enrolled in the US in 2014/15, China is by far the leading source of international students at American universities and colleges, however, there are three waves of growth in Chinese students in the US. Each of the three waves differs in terms of needs and expectations and corresponding support services needed. Unfortunately, many higher education institutions have not adapted to the changing needs.[56] It is no surprise that many Chinese students are now questioning if it is worth investing in studying abroad.[57]

International students also face cross-cultural barriers that hinder their ability to succeed in a new environment.[58] For example, there are differences in terms of receiving and giving feedback which influences the academic engagement and even job and internship search approach of international students.[59]

Plagiarism is the most serious offense in academia.[60] Plagiarism has two subtle forms, one of which includes the omission of elements required for proper citations and references.[61] The second form is unacknowledged use or incorporation of another person's work or achievement. Violation of either form can result in a student's expulsion. For the international students the word plagiarism is a foreign word.[62] Most of them are unfamiliar with American academic standards and colleges aren’t good about giving a clear definition of the word's meaning. For example, many international students don’t know using even one sentence of someone else's work can be considered plagiarism. Most colleges give students an E on their plagiarized assignments and future offenses often result in failing class or being kicked out of university.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "The OECD Innovation Strategy". OECD. 28 May 2010. doi:10.1787/9789264083479-5-en. 
  2. ^ World Education Services, (Appendix A)
  3. ^ a b c d e f World Education Services.
  4. ^ "How many Indian and Chinese students go abroad every year?". 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  5. ^ "Global Education Digest". UNESCO. 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  6. ^ n.s. "The Shape of Things to Come: Higher Education Global Trends and Emerging Opportunities to 2020." British Council. 2012
  7. ^ a b "International Students in the United States". Project Atlas. Open Doors Report. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2010.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Project Atlas 2016 release". 
  11. ^ Northern Cyprus, Ministry of National Education and Culture The number of university students in Northern Cyprus for 2016-2017
  12. ^ "International Student Enrollment Increased by 5 Percent in 2010/11, Led by Strong Increase in Students From China", Institute of International Education, November 14, 2011
  13. ^ "Three waves of international student mobility explain the past, present and future trends". Retrieved 2017-06-04. 
  14. ^ Choudaha, Rahul "The future of international student mobility", "University World News (2011-10-03)"
  15. ^ "International Student Mobility Trends". 2011-10-03. 
  16. ^ "Education at a Glance". OECD. 2011. 
  17. ^ Choudaha, Rahul. "Webinar on Transnational Education: Recording of the Online Discussion with Global Experts ~ DrEducation: Global Higher Education Research and Consulting". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  18. ^ Mary, Beth, Marklein,"Chinese college students flocking to U.S. campuses", USA Today, December 8, 2009
  19. ^ "300000 Foreign Students Plan". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  20. ^ "France, Germany & Canada: New overseas education destinations for Indians". Economic Times. May 1, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "". Learnhub. June 20, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  22. ^ Chao, E. L.; DeRocco, E. S.; Flynn, M. K. (2007). "Adult learners in higher education: Barriers to success and strategies to improve results" (PDF). Employment and Training Administration Occasional Paper 2007-03. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. 
  23. ^ "Canada welcomes record number of international students in 2012". Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Archived from the original on February 26, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Canada – Temporary foreign students present on December 1st by province or territory and urban area, 2008–2012". Citizenship and Immigration Canada. December 1, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  25. ^ "International Students Seeking Canadian Residence Hit Hard by New Express Entry System (Audio)". Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  26. ^ "UNESCO Institute for Statistics: UNESCO Institute for Statistics". 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  27. ^ "Beyond 20/20 WDS - Report Folders". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  28. ^ "Empowering People to Innovate - The OECD Innovation Strategy". OECD iLibrary. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  29. ^ "Cambridge English: First (FCE)". Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  30. ^ "Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)". Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  31. ^ "Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)". Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  32. ^ (English-speaking education)
  33. ^ (English-speaking education)
  34. ^ (English-speaking education)
  35. ^ "English tests for study abroad, UK, Australia, USA from Pearson". Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  36. ^ (French-speaking education)
  37. ^ (Spanish-speaking education)
  38. ^ "NAFSA research on landscape of third-party pathway partnerships in the US". Retrieved 2017-06-04. 
  39. ^ "Student Visa". Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  40. ^ Farrell, Louis. "How to Demonstrate Financial Ability as an International Student". U.S.News & World report. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  41. ^ "How International Students Add Billions to the U.S. Economy". Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  42. ^ "Wrest Corporation - International Internship & MBA Consultant Delhi". Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  43. ^ "International Student Survey". Hobsons. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  44. ^ "2016 GAC Pathway University Handbook" (PDF). Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  45. ^ "What is in the Global Assessment Certificate™ program?". Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  46. ^ Clifford, Megan. "Assessing the Feasibility of International Branch Campuses" (PDF). Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  47. ^ Becker, Rosa. "International Branch Campuses: New Trends and Directions". Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  48. ^ María Eugenia Miranda. "International Branch Campuses Producing Opportunities, Headaches". Diverse. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  49. ^ Ireland, Christopher and English, John (2011). "Let Them Plagiarise: Developing Academic Writing in a Safe Environment". Journal of Academic Writing. 1 (1): 165–172. doi:10.18552/joaw.v1i1.10. 
  50. ^ "Top Chinese Universities in Medicine". CUCAS. 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2014-10-11. 
  51. ^ Stephanie Lindemann, "Listening with an attitude: A model of native speaker comprehension of non-native speakers in the United States" Language in Society 31. (2002).
  52. ^ Jinyan Huang& Kathleen Brown "cultural factors affecting Chinese ESL students’ academic learning" Education. (2009).
  53. ^ Hsieh, Min-Hua. "Challenges For International Students In Higher Education: One Student's Narrated Story Of Invisibility And Struggle." College Student Journal 41.2 (2007): 379-391.Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.
  54. ^ "Number of Chinese students applying for a US Visa increases", USA Visa Bureau, November 16, 2010.
  55. ^ Bista,Krishna, "A First-Person Explanation of Why Some International Students Are Silent in the U.S. Classroom", "Faculty Focus", June 23, 2011
  56. ^ Choudaha, Rahul; Hu, Di (March 2016). "Higher Education Must Go Beyond Recruitment and Immigration Compliance of International Students". Forbes. 
  57. ^ Choudaha, Rahul. "Enhancing success and experiences of Chinese students for sustainable enrollment strategies ~ DrEducation: Global Higher Education Research and Consulting". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  58. ^ "Intercultural Competence – International Student Success Training and Resources". Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  59. ^ Hu, Di (2016-04-10). "Navigate the Cross-cultural Map: Feedback". International Student Success Training and Resources. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  60. ^ "The Problems with Plagiarism". Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  61. ^ "How to Recognize Plagiarism: Tutorials and Tests". Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  62. ^ "For some international students, 'plagiarism' is a foreign word.". Retrieved June 16, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]