WENR, December 2016: Americas

United States: Federal Government Funds 2,800 Study Abroad Scholarships for Community College Students

The federal government is funding 2,800 scholarships this academic year to encourage community college students to study abroad. More than 7 million students were enrolled in for-credit courses at two-year institutions in 2014, but only 7,105 students studied abroad during the 2014-2015 academic year. By comparison, a far greater number of students from other countries, 94,022, were studying at U.S. community colleges.

U.S. News & World Report
November 30

United States: Survey Indicates U.S. Led by Trump May be Less Attractive to International Students

Fifty-seven percent of international students surveyed who responded to a recent online survey said that they are less likely to study in the U.S. after the unexpected victory of Donald Trump. Eighty-seven percent of overseas respondents expected the U.S. to become less welcoming to international students. Some 1,354 students responded to the survey, which took place a week after the U.S. presidential election in November.

The PIE News
November 23

United States: U.S. Universities Strongest in Global Employability Rankings

U.S. universities top the employability rankings released this month by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and the Times Higher Education. Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology rank highest among 300 universities included the QS ranking. California Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University top the 150 universities included in the THE ranking. Other countries with institutions in the top 20 of the rankings are: The U.K., China, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and Singapore. QS reports that institutions with a strong emphasis on STEM fields tend to score particularly high in employability.

University World News
November 23

Canada: Immigration Process Reform Eases Pathway to Permanent Residency

The Canadian government has implemented reforms to the Express Entry immigration process that will make it easier for international students and faculty to become permanent residents. While the government will continue to employ the points system that was developed in 2015 under the previous administration, the focus will shift from having a qualifying job offer to education level, language skills and Canadian work experience.  With these changes, the government expects the number of international students invited to apply to Express Entry to increase from 30 to 40 percent, and hopes to attract more skilled and educated candidates to the country.

University Affairs
November 22

Canada: Survey Finds Disparity Between Desire and Ability to Study Abroad

In a recent survey, the Canadian Bureau of International Education found that while 86 percent of Canadian students expressed interest in study abroad, an estimated 2 percent actually did so during the 2015/2016 academic year. The biggest factor prohibiting students from studying abroad was cost, according to 70 percent of survey respondents. Another cause for the disconnect between desire and action is lack of encouragement, especially at the institutional level. Only 58 percent of those surveyed said they were encouraged to study abroad, usually by a friend or parent, with only 15 percent reporting that they were encouraged by a faculty member and only 5 percent by an advisor. This low level of engagement could reinforce the idea that study abroad is not an important or integral part of higher education in Canada, however, the data highlights the far reaching impact of study abroad. Of the students who did study abroad, “two thirds said it influenced their academic path, and seven in 10 said it influenced their career path”.

The PIE News
November 21

United States: Number of International Students Surpasses 1 Million

The U.S. saw a seven percent increase in inbound international students during the 2015-2016 school year, with the total number surpassing one million. This marks the 10th consecutive year of positive growth. The most noteworthy changes are a sharp increase in inbound Indian students, at 25 percent, and an 18 percent drop in Brazilian students, thanks to the cessation of the Science Without Border program. Intensive English programs also took a hit, experiencing a 15 percent drop in enrollments.

Inside Higher Ed
November 14, 2016

Chile: Free Tuition Program Faces Funding Issues

A new initiative in Chile to provide free tuition to poor students has created a USD $46 million dollar funding gap, affecting 29 out of the 30 participating universities. This disparity has been attributed to a miscalculation by the government, which was unable to match the tuition fees as  promised. In order to ensure sustainability of the free tuition program, higher education officials are calling for a re-calibration of the government funding scheme, one that takes into account the resources each university needs to participate in the program.

University World News
November 10, 2016

Posted in Americas, Regional News Summaries