International Higher Education - Essay Example

Published: 2023-12-25
International Higher Education - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  University Education United States
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1130 words
10 min read


The chosen issue in the U.S. higher education entails suspension of enrolment for international students in American universities. The problem is limiting international students’ capacity to access education programs and classes within American universities and colleges (Joung & Rosenthal, 2020). The essay will discuss the issue in detail to establish the regulations and standards that apply, the potential impacts on university operations, governance and performance. Creative suggestions will be provided on how to comply or improve compliance and explain how an institution can ensure implementation, evaluation, and accountability.

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A Synopsis of the Issue

The enrollment of international students in the U.S. has been on the decline. 28% of international students were enrolled in American colleges and universities in 2001 (Wiley Education Services, 2020). The number had dropped to 22% by the year 2018. 40% of the U.S. colleges and university deans expected a decrease in international students' enrollment in the fall 2017 semester (ICEF Monitor, 2019). Due to the covid-19 pandemic, a federal decision has been made to strip international students of their visas if they fail to attend colleges and universities in person. International students can transfer to schools with in-person instruction to maintain their lawful status in America (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 2020). The issue is harmful to the learners and creates a high risk to their health, well-being, and whole education community (Joung & Rosenthal, 2020). International students cannot renew the F1 and F.M. visas.

The enrolment numbers for international students for the 2015-12016 academic year in the U.S. higher education were over 300,000 and decreased by 10% to below 270,000 in the 2018-2019 academic year (Di Maria, 2020). The Institute of International Education (IIE) (2020) stated that enrollment for international students will still decrease in the 2020-2021 academic year due to the covid-19 pandemic. Many current international students are also being forced to defer or withdraw their enrollments and wait up to 2021.

Applicable Federal Regulations

The U.S. Student and Exchange Program requires the Department of Homeland Security to provide all international students in the U.S. higher education balanced protections as required by the federal regulations (Joung & Rosenthal, 2020). The Immigration Act, 1924, provided that international students should be permitted in the U.S. institutions and enroll in higher education programs. They should get temporary visas to study in the U.S. and get admissions as non-immigrants in America, including an F visa, J visa, or M visa (Haddal, 2008). The F visa is given to international students taking full-time academic education in the U.S., and the learner should get a foreign residence and no intention of leaving. J visa is issued to international students taking the Fulbright education program or a cultural exchange program. The M visa is given to students pursuing non-academic courses in higher education institutions. The duration for stay for international students in the U.S. higher education lasts as long as they participate based on the exchange programs and expiry of full-time learning. Redden (2020) noted that a requirement to suspend or stop international students' enrollment in the U.S. international education violates their immigration status. It exposes the current international students at risk of breaking their status of immigration.

Potential Impacts

Suspension of enrolment for international students in American universities will affect the operation, governance and performance of the institutions. Di Maria (2020) revealed that international students enrich U.S. universities' cultural diversity and educational experience. They also contribute to the institutions' financial capability by paying entire tuition fees and the institution's reputation as world-class. Suspending and failing to enroll international students in U.S. higher education will reduce the universities' education performance due to reduced education competence and experience (Wiley Education Services, 2020). The low numbers of international students in the universities will negatively impact the university operations due to insufficient finances availability. In the long run, the U.S. universities will not attract diverse leadership that encourages innovation and better educational facilities governance. Dennis (2017) noted that U.S. universities would lose market share in the international market and impact their management. No global leaders will be interested in being associated with American higher education institutions.

Creative Suggestions

To comply with the Immigration Act, 1924 and the U.S. Student and Exchange Program requirements, higher education institutions need to embrace online education for all international students to ensure they continue with their learning (Wiley Education Services, 2020). It is a solution that will expand access to higher education for international students, even in the coming years. Universities should develop recruitment programs for enrolling international students to offset the current decline in admission. They can also change the program design and take a learner-centric approach to education (Dennis, 2017). Such a system will help international students get committed to life-long learning and achieve continuous development. It is a more straightforward approach for students to join classes, manage tuition costs, and succeed in their education programs taken in the higher education institutions in the U.S.


In conclusion, there has been a declining trend in international students' enrollment in the U.S. higher education institutions. The Immigration Act, 1924, requires all international students to get balanced protection and enrolled in U.S. higher education without discrimination. A decrease in international students' enrollment in U.S. universities will negatively impact their performance, governance, and operations due to a lack of enough finances and not attracting the global market. Improving compliance with the Immigration Act, 1924 provisions for international students requires universities to embrace online education, expand access and change the program design. Adopting a non-bias approach to admission will help implement, evaluate, and accountability of the institution enrolment of international students.


CEF Monitor. (2019). U.S. report puts the price of declining student market share at US$5.5 billion.

Dennis, M. (2017). Bumpy road ahead for U.S. higher education. Enrollment Management Report.

Di Maria, D. (2020). 6 ways a drop in international students could set back U.S. higher education. The Conversation.

Haddal, C. (2008). Foreign students in the United States: Policies and legislation. Congregational Research Service.

Joung, M., & Rosenthal, R. (2020). U.S. universities brace for a big decline in international students. Voice of America (V.A.).

Redden, E. (2020). Where do new international students stand?

U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Advancing diversity and inclusion in higher education: Key data highlights focusing on race and ethnicity and promising practices.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). (2020). SEVP modifies temporary exemptions for non-immigrant students taking online courses during the fall 2020 semester.

Wiley Education Services. (2020). Top challenges facing U.S. higher education.

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