A lengthy Nikkei Asia article has pointed out that studying in the U.S. has long been a natural choice for ambitious young Asians, but now they are increasingly staying close to home. And while the article first attempts to blame Trump and guns, the real situation was summed up by Stephanie Kim, assistant professor of education at Georgetown University who was quoted as saying:
“Students have numerous alternative study-abroad destinations beyond the U.S. and U.K… The trend simply points to the diversification of mobility flows and the rise of new higher education hubs.”
The article pointed out that in the latest World University Rankings from Times Higher Education, three Asian schools made the top 30 for the first time and several more were in the top 100. In addition, more Asian universities are offering internationally recognized degree programs that are often in English and at more affordable rates.
Countries such as China and Japan are also becoming more popular places to study abroad. Meanwhile, South Korea has a shrinking college-age population, but experts also say government and school efforts to win back students from the U.S. by making further investments in higher education are paying off. All of this means a mixed picture for international student enrollment at US universities along with those in other western countries.
Nevertheless, India remains a bright spot for universities that rely on foreign students. Philip Altbach, director for the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, was quoted as saying:
“I think significant numbers of Indians will want to study abroad for many years [to come] due to a combination of lack of capacity for good quality education at home, and a desire to get jobs abroad.”