Editor’s note: In August 2020, NACAC released a report urging colleges and universities to examine their policies and practices concerning standardized tests and their potential impact on equity and access. This column is the fourth in a series of articles reflecting on the report’s recommendations and offering insight into the current state of standardized admission testing.
Outside the US, submitting a transcript of classroom achievement is seldom required when applying to universities, which makes testing all the more important in the admission process. While the demise of SAT Subject Tests was welcomed and applauded, international counselors encountered some anxiety and questions from students and parents alike about the potential need to take additional exams such as TOEFL, IELTS, and Advanced Placement tests, especially if applying to non-US universities. This was especially true in regions where students routinely work with agents, and where test prep is an aggressive and big business.
Editor’s note: In August 2020, NACAC released a report urging colleges and universities to examine their policies and practices concerning standardized tests and their potential impact on equity and access. This column is the third in a series of articles reflecting on the report’s recommendations and offering insight into the current state of standardized admission testing.
Much has been written about the sudden, COVID-propelled test-optional movement inside of the US, and the blessings and complications that this movement has wrought for students, counselors, and admission offices there. Outside of the US, this same move to test-optional—plus the end of SAT Subject Tests and the SAT essay—has provoked mixed reactions: celebrations for students who are US-bound, but also concerns about potentially narrower options for students studying in a US curriculum who wish to travel abroad for university.
Editor’s note: In August 2020, NACAC released a report urging colleges and universities to examine their policies and practices concerning standardized tests and their potential impact on equity and access. This column is the second in a series of articles reflecting on the report’s recommendations and offering insight into the current state of standardized admission testing.
At this time last year, “I don’t know” felt like a valid reply to the question of “to test or not to test” when guiding students through the college admission process. Granted, “I don’t know” left everyone feeling unfulfilled, but how could we “know” when each element of testing brought more questions than answers. Relying on some combination of experience, instinct, patience, and each other, we methodically felt our way through last year’s admission cycle and landed somewhere between survival and triumph. A year later, the world is thankfully in a different place, but both the testing question and the “I don’t know” reply remain.
Working on the ground in China gave me a lot of insight about why Chinese families choose the US for their child’s education. In 2009, when I was first working in China, it quickly became clear that many Chinese love Americans and everything American—food, music, clothes, education….
Despite recent concerns about new international student enrollment at US colleges and universities, nearly all universities (91 percent) that enrolled international students over the summer anticipate that those students will remain through fall 2020, according to survey findings in a new report from the Institute of International Education (IIE).
According to the survey, 50 percent of the institutions reported fewer international applicants for fall 2020 than in previous years. Decreases in applications may be due to the economic impact of Covid-19, which is driving students—US and international—to consider other academic options or gap years. The decrease may also reflect students’ preferences to wait for economic stability before deciding to apply.
Among the institutions surveyed, 286 indicated that a total of 57,555 new international students had committed to their institutions; an additional 4,488 had already deferred to spring 2021 or beyond at the time the data was collected.
Due to the uncertainties around students’ ability to come to the US, however, institutions are offering several options. Most institutions are offering students the ability to defer their enrollment to spring 2021 (87 percent) or to enroll online through distance education (78 percent). Even though virtual enrollment will be the reality for many students this fall, the report warns of some long-term challenges when implementing virtual enrollment: decreases in enrollment (75 percent); issues accessing online courses (68 percent); and, an increase in withdrawals (48 percent).
While many international students are still considering enrolling in a US institution, their decision will depend on what options institutions will offer to students unable to travel to the US this fall.
Tiziana G. Marchante is NACAC’s project coordinator for educational content & policy. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since March when IIE released its first survey—focused on mobility to and from China where the virus originated—COVID-19 has infected more than 3.2 million people globally with more than a million cases in the US. The current report focuses on international mobility more globally, with specific attention to actions US institutions took in spring 2020 and plan to take for summer and fall 2020.
Strategies to attract and recruit international students were a topic of discussion earlier this month during a seminar hosted in Washington, DC, by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities (GCUB).
The event brought key higher education leaders together to strengthen existing partnerships in the Americas and highlight new recruitment and exchange possibilities.
Travel to and from China — the largest source of international students globally — has been heavily restricted since January as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). To better understand the impact the virus has had on the recruitment efforts of US universities, the Institute of International Education (IIE) conducted a survey on academic student mobility to and from China.
The findings from the survey—Academic Student Mobility to and from China— show that the majority (76 percent) of institutions’ outreach and recruitment efforts to prospective students in China had been affected. Specifically, more than half (51 percent) of responding institutions had cancelled recruitment activities in China.
Every year, popular destination countries welcome a new cohort of international students coming ashore to study. And with the new year starting, the recruitment cycle begins again — with university admission officers frequently tasked to visit the same high schools to recruit students.
Competition is an undeniable factor in our chosen profession. But this cycle, I want to bring attention to another facet that ties our work together: the joy of guiding students in their journey to higher education and global exploration.
Yes, we compete for applicants; but isn’t it more about providing a wide platform that enables students to make the most suitable choices for their academic and personal growth?
Here are some ways I believe secondary schools and admission professionals can work together to ensure student interests remain the top consideration in global recruitment.
Since taking office, the Trump administration has sought to limit access to the US by individuals from certain countries through travel bans instituted by executive order. On Friday, the Trump administration issued a presidential proclamation that expanded the existing ban to include six additional countries.
Effective Feb. 21, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania will join seven other countries already facing travel restrictions.