The National Center For Education Statistics released a report on numbers of foreign students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. Not surprisingly, 61% of those students were from Asia with the largest percentages enrolling from China and India.
The number of Chinese undergraduate students in the U.S. has doubled in just the past couple of years, jumping from around 10,000 only five years ago to nearly 57,000 last year.
In a country that places an extremely high value on education and achievement, China views attending college in the U.S. as the pinnacle of success.
For many Asian students’ families, the target of their expenditures is placed on their children’s education rather than leisure, vacations and luxury items. A much stronger emphasis is placed on early education in advance preparation of U.S. college enrollment. High levels of achievement are the norm, not the exception.
There is a private international education company, RISE, operating in China for the express purpose of teaching idiomatic English to Chinese students to help them get into American universities. Learning English also helps the foreign students who plan on attending university in the U.S. to develop their confidence as well as ensuring their success while taking courses in English.
Students from China and India are also using these educational opportunities to their advantage, often excelling in science, math, technology and engineering.
So what benefit do schools in the U.S. stand to derive from foreign enrollments? Plenty, according to the Institute of Education Sciences who report foreign student presence as a support and amplification of the educational experience for U.S. students.
Foreign students are a positive resource at U.S. institutions, not only adding to the cultural diversity but providing a challenge to U.S. students to reach a higher level of appreciation for educational attainment.
Also, many foreign students enroll without the benefit of financial aid, thereby becoming an important monetary resource as well to colleges already struggling with balancing costs and tuition.
When foreign students bring that level of dedication with them, it is inevitable that they will raise the bar on competition for post-graduate careers. And, in fact, many families hope that after graduation, their children will remain in the U.S. to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that much of the world sees as the American Dream.
After graduation, there are still a limited number of available opportunities in which a graduate can use their knowledge. The dedication of foreign students can well serve as a model for U.S. students to begin approaching their education – and the opportunities they have for one – a bit more fervently before the U.S. institutions of higher learning are all filled with hungry minds from other shores.