International students account for greater percentage, as total number of first time graduate students in the US falls

Released annually, the Council of Graduate Schools and the Graduate Examinations Board’s ‘Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees’ is a fascinating snapshot of the current state of graduate studies in the US, covering things like the shifting demographics of applicants, and the subjects they are choosing to study.

This year’s report has made the headlines as a result of one its findings – that first time enrolments onto graduate-level degrees fell by 1.1% in 2009/10. This is the first time this has happened since 2003. That fewer students are enrolling on graduate courses for the first time could be down to a number of factors, but it seems possible that this is a shift from a mentality of enrolling on a graduate program while waiting for the job market to improve, to one of being unwilling to leave a secure job and risk not finding another.

However, the figures also reveal that the number of international students (temporary residents) enrolling on a graduate course increased this year, after dipping for the first time since 2004 in 2008/09. International students now account for 16% of first-time graduate students in the US. The percentage of US residents actually fell this year by 1.2%, while the number of international students increased by 4.7%. This bucks the trend of the past decade, over which new domestic enrolment has typically gone up by a greater percentage than international (an average of 4.4% as compared to 2.3%). Mathematics is the subject which has seen the greatest increase in international student numbers, with a rise of 10%, followed by business (8.3%), physical and earth sciences (6.4%).

A total of 445,000 students enrolled on graduate programs for the first time, with education, business and health science students accounting for nearly half. Read more

HE News Briefs 27.9.11

by Abby Chau

  • AUSTRALIA: Visa restrictions have been lifted for international students
  • UNITED STATES: Admission officers feel pressure to look at students who can pay their own way
  • SAUDI ARABIA: The country has been building partnerships around the world but some warn caution
  • SPAIN: Finding it difficult to implement its second year plan for the Bologna Process
  • BRITAIN: Tuition fee hikes have made some consider other routes for students Read more

HE News Brief 9.8.11

by Abby Chau

  • UNITED STATES: Forbes publishes the top 650 US undergraduate colleges
  • GHANA: Student protests erupt in response to what some deem as unfair fees
  • SWITZERLAND: Institutions are considering limiting foreign student figures
  • CHINA: To expand its online activities as part of its Five-Year higher ed strategy
  • UK: New forecast for England’s higher education woes Read more

Online tool allows students to identify highest and lowest priced US institutions

By Mansoor Iqbal, Education Writer

The US Department of Education has made a new online tool available with which students can identify the most expensive and the cheapest colleges in the country. The College Affordability and Transparency Centre allows users to generate reports showing the institutions which charge the highest and lowest tuition fees, and the ones with the highest and lowest net prices – the average cost of attendance (this is tuition plus other fees, books and supplies, and room and board), taking into account grants and scholarship aid.

The tool covers nine sectors in total, allowing separate reports to be generated for public, private not-for-profit, and private for-profit four-year, two-year and less-than-two-year institutions. The most expensive 5% and the cheapest 10% are covered.

If only tuition fees are considered, the most expensive three public schools are Pennsylvania State University – Main Campus, the University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Campus, and the University of Vermont, which charge $14,416, $14,154 and $13,554 respectively. The most expensive when other costs and aid are taken into account are the University of Texas Health Center at San Antonio, Saint Mary’s College of Maryland and Rowan University – $24,192, $23,902, and $21,468. Read more

HE News Brief 01.2.11

by Abby Chau

  • The Ukraine Education Minister Dmitriy Tabachnyk recently criticised the higher education system as inefficient and that the 1000 universities in the country are too many for a population of 45 million. Tabachnyk said that institutions should be more regulated and mergers of smaller universities would help alleviate the problem. This announcement comes as students protested a new higher education law which would reduce the number of places at universities as well as a planned reduction of funding for student government.
    Full Story: RIA Novosti
    More: Interfax

  • Despite budget cuts and tuition fee hikes, the UK government is pressing on with their policy of tighter visa restrictions. Business schools are reacting to a plan that would disallow graduates from working in the country. Previously graduates were able to apply for a post-study visa which would allow them to work in the UK for up to two years. The government is planning to cancel the post-study visa in April 2011. In 2009, 38,000 visas were issued under this category. At the moment, the UK is the second most popular destination for international students. Policy makers in Europe are looking at positioning itself as a higher education destination as the UK falls out of favour with international students, and particularly, MBA graduates.
    Full Story: FT
    Read more