A Message from Mariam Assefa

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of World Education News and Reviews (WENR). In that time, we have seen dramatic growth in global student mobility and the transformation of international education into a highly competitive business in which countries, large and small, use the number of international students they attract as an indicator of the quality and reputation of their educational institutions.

The latest issue of WENR focuses on higher education and student mobility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the measures taken by countries in the region to promote intraregional mobility.  Our lead feature examines more than 40 years of Iranian student mobility to the United States, and companion pieces look at the characteristics of the educational system and of Iranian students in the U.S. Other articles focus on intraregional student mobility among key Middle Eastern countries, and on the on-campus challenges faced by U.S.-enrolled students from the MENA region.

We planned the issue well in advance of the January 27 executive order that restricts flows from seven Muslim-majority countries. We, like many others, are deeply concerned about the impact of the order. Regardless of the outcome of ongoing legal challenges now working their way through the court system, it is bound to change the perception of the U.S. among international students from an open and welcoming destination to a country that is wary of outsiders.

In the coming months and years, WES will stand with all the academic institutions and communities who welcome and support newcomers, and WENR will seek to provide insights and needed information to our partners in the higher education sector, as well as to other professionals whose work supports international students, skilled immigrants, and refugees in the U.S.