The Global Engagement Committee will advise NACAC leadership about strategies for the association to meaningfully interact with other countries, as well as policies, practices, and resources of help to the membership. Guidance will be informed by monitoring trends in global student mobility and the needs of members whose work involves counseling, admission, recruitment and support of internationally mobile students. Contact this committee.
Erick Hyde, Chair
University of Pennsylvania
Vanderbilt University (TN)
Shanghai American School-Puxi Campus (China)
University of Glasgow (UK)
The College Board (GA)
Gilmour Academy (OH)
The Benjamin School (FL)
Committee Update 2020
The decline in international student enrollment at US colleges and universities, as reported in Open Doors, has been a topic of focus for NACAC’s Global Engagement committee for the past two years. Almost half of all colleges and universities surveyed by the Institute of International Education in 2018 reported a drop in new international enrollments, a dip affecting total enrollment figures moving forward. The committee has advised on resources, such as this one-pager on international student mobility to the US, to advance advocacy efforts to ensure America remains a top destination for international students to pursue their education.
Related to this trend, two particular topics were of concern to the committee at its February meeting—the impact of the coronavirus on student mobility from China, the top place of origin for international students coming to America, and US immigration policy changes and declines in the issuance of international student visas.
At the time of its meeting in early February, each committee member had a story to share about the impact of the coronavirus, though the effects of the outbreak were most acutely felt by Chemeli Kipkorir, college counselor at Shanghai American School, who made her way to our meeting from Nairobi after a forced extension of her Chinese New Year holiday. She shared the academic and emotional challenges facing her community, as well as the impact on college advisement. At the time of our meeting, the university representatives on the committee were in a wait-and-see mode as to whether spring travel, yield, and recruitment events would go on as scheduled. We know now that many events have been canceled, in addition to tests that students need for applying which NACAC is tracking. Following its meeting, the committee worked with International ACAC on its Town Hall virtual forum, which provided an interactive format for members to discuss the impact of the virus.
Though the situation is still unfolding and global impact not fully understood, with more than 369,000 Chinese students attending US colleges and universities, the outbreak could have a major impact on enrollment planning. Diversifying international recruitment and enrollment efforts beyond a few countries is critical, and the coronavirus may amplify and reinforce this message. During its meeting, the committee advised on the preconference seminar NACAC is planning to help institutions think more strategically about their international enrollment management efforts. Check out Navigating Paradigm Shifts to Grow and Diversify International Enrollmenttaking place on Thursday, Sept. 24.
Further impacting enrollment are the Trump administration’s policies impacting foreign and refugee students, which have created an unwelcoming environment for international students. Within this context, the global engagement committee members have been increasingly mindful of challenges—both perceived and experienced—of applying for and receiving an international student visa to study in the US. As such, the committee invited a visa policy analyst from the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to join its meeting for a discussion on processes and trends related to F-1 international student visas. The group discussed ways NACAC can help to inform the bureau of updates to US higher education that may impact adjudication of visas, such as the test-optional movement and Duolingo English Test—a new proficiency exam being accepted by many US institutions.
Through education and advocacy, the global engagement committee has been diligently working to advance initiatives that help NACAC members best counsel, recruit, and support internationally mobile students.
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