Education as a Top Service ExportSeptember 4, 2012
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The International Trade Administration’s Education Team helps U.S. institutions recruit international students and supports recruitment events.
This week, representatives from 66 U.S. colleges and universities are traversing Brazil, attending education fairs and talking to thousands of students interested in pursuing an education in the United States. The colleges and universities are in Brazil as part of an Education Missionled by Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez, the largest in the Department of Commerce’s history.
Education and training rank among the top 10 U.S. services exports. Higher education remains one of America’s most sought-after services. Both elite private institutions and high-quality public colleges and universities benefit from the influx of foreign students attending, many of whom pay the full out-of-state tuition price. American institutions of higher education remain desirable in a challenging global economic climate, where illustrious names are seen to pave the way to success.
According to the Institute of International Education, during the 2010-11 academic year, the number of international students in the U.S. increased to a record high of 723,277 students, a 32% increase since 2000-01. International students contribute not only to campus life and to dialogue within classrooms, but also to the U.S. economy at the local, state, and national levels. Tuition and living expenses from international students and their families brought in nearly $21 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2010-2011 academic year.
The OECD’s Education at a Glance 2011 reports that the number of international students worldwide increased from 2.1 million in 2000 to 3.7 million in 2009. Furthermore, the Global Student Mobility 2025 Report, estimates that world demand for international higher education will increase from 1.8 million in 2002 to some 7.2 million or more in 2025 as countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, South Korea, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia grow economically and struggle to meet domestic demand for higher education.
The United States continues to be a sought-after destination for high-quality education. Yet foreign students in the United State remain a smaller percentage of the total U.S. student body than several other popular destinations for foreign students. With more than 4,000 institutions of higher learning in the U.S., there is tremendous potential for more intuitions to host a greater number of international students.