Graduate institutions across the nation have continued to encounter a fluctuating change in foreign graduate student applications and offers of admission throughout the decade.
According to a report conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools, which surveyed 493 U.S. graduate institutions, foreign student admission applications increased 11 percent between 2010 and 2011, compared to a 28 percent decrease between 2003 and 2004. The highest increase in applications was in 2011 since a 12 percent boost in 2006.
The University has also seen a similar change in foreign graduate student admission offers and applications. According to Louis Farnsworth, director of Academic Support Services at University Graduate School, offers of admission increased by 14 percent from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011. Similarly, there has been a 32 percent increase in applications from foreign students wishing to complete their graduate studies at the University.
“Recruitment of international graduate students occurs primarily at the program level. UGS provides funding support and administers programs, which assist the various programs in their recruitment efforts.
For example, UGS provides matching funds to programs for faculty who are traveling overseas to recruit students at conferences or graduate school fairs,” he explained.
The report, which was conducted by Nathan E. Bell, the director of Research and Policy Analysis at CGS, states that “international students currently comprise about 15.5 percent of all graduate students in the United States.”
The majority of foreign student applications are from China, which encountered a 21 percent increase in the number of applications sent to the US between 2010 and 2011. The Middle East and Turkey follow, with a 16 percent increase in foreign student applications to US graduate schools. India and South Korea also experienced an increase, with an eight-percent increase and a twopercent increase, respectively.
At the University level, China, India, Jamaica and Colombia are the top four countries with the greatest representation in foreign graduate student recruitment, according to Farnsworth.
Offers of admission from US graduate schools to foreign students, on the other hand, experienced an increase as well, as stated in the report. There was an 11 percent increase in offers of admission between 2010 and 2011. And although that is a preliminary number, it was the highest increase in admission offers since 2006, similar to the increase of applications from 2006 and 2011. Like the decrease in foreign student applications between 2003 and 2004, there was also an 18 percent decrease in offers of admission during the same time.
Between 2010 and 2011, there was a 23 percent increase in offers of admission to China, compared to a 15 percent increase between 2009 and 2010. Parallel to the increase of applications to U.S. graduate schools from the Middle East and Turkey, there was a 16 percent increase in offers of admission between 2010 and 2011. India also experienced an eight percent increase in offers of admission. Unlike the two percent increase in foreign student applications from South Korea between 2010 and 2011, South Korea experienced no change in admission offers.
The University participates in several programs worldwide that provide opportunities for students wishing to pursue an American graduate education.
“We … participate in scholarship programs which specifically promote international education; for example, the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, AMIDEAST and EducationUSA. These agencies will match international students with the graduate programs in the US,” he said.
Foreign students with enough credits from their international institution are also given an opportunity to complete their graduate studies at the University.
“Several graduate programs have set up dual degree agreements — [like] business, engineering [and] religious studies — with international universities and colleges. These agreements allow students to apply up to 12 credits from a degree completed at the international university toward their degree at FIU if admitted to the FIU graduate program participating under the agreement,” said Farnsworth.
Although the University has a significant amount of foreign graduate students, international recruitment is not a top priority.
“Recruitment is mainly focused on U.S. students. The majority of our recruitment budget is spent on recruitment efforts in the U.S. with promotion to the tri-county area (Broward, Dade and West Palm Beach) being at the top of the list,” Farnsworth said.