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US Sees a Steep Decline in International Business Applications


The United States is becoming a less sought out destination for international students when it comes to getting a post-secondary degree in business.

According to Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) report, during the current year, the international business school applications saw a decline of 13.7 percent, which is a way higher drop than any other country in the world.

For example, the number of Indians sending GMAT scores to business schools in the US dropped from 57 percent in the testing year 2014 to 45 percent in the testing year 2018.

Countries like Canada, the UK and China saw a 5 to 9 percent increase in their international business school applications.

Earlier reports have attributed the overall declining enrollment to various factors, including delays and denials of visas, changing preferences of international students, and the present political and social climate in the U.S.

“Quality business schools are emerging around the world and the competition for talent is fierce, the sign of a vibrant marketplace,” said GMAC President Sangeet Chowfla.

“Business schools don’t hold all the cards, however. Policymakers also have a responsibility to seed an environment conducive to student mobility. By doing so, they unlock innovation while helping to maintain diversity in the classroom, a critical aspect of graduate management education.”

The decline has worried nearly 50 deans of business schools both public and private, and 13 CEOs, who have penned a joint letter calling for a major policy change that leads to high-skilled immigration.

The signatories raised concern over lack of high-skilled talent in the country and proposed simplifying the visa processing system, removal of visa caps on countries and reform in its H-1B visa program.

The general drop in enrollments started in the 2016-2017 academic year when U.S. institutions saw 115,841 new international undergraduate enrollments, a decline of 3,421 students compared to the year before. The following year saw an even further slump with just 108,539 enrollments, another decline of 7,302 students.

The drop in enrollments between fall 2016 and fall 2017 enrollments cost the U.S. economy more than 40,000 jobs and $5.5 billion.

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