Survey: Attitudes and Perceptions of Prospective Students in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America

Press Release

New IIE Paper Reveals What International Students Think About U.S. Higher Education

What International Students Think About U.S. Higher Education:

Attitudes and Perceptions of Prospective Students in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America

NEW YORK, NY, June 17, 2011—IIE is pleased to announce the publication of What International Students Think about U.S. Higher Education, a new report produced with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

This report examines the attitudes and perceptions that international students who are considering studying in the United States have of U.S. higher education. IIE, in cooperation with EducationUSA, conducted a series of attitudinal surveys of prospective students in eleven places of origin between spring 2009 and fall 2010. The following research questions are explored: What attracted students from other countries to study in the U.S.? What course of study do they intend to pursue? Do they prefer the U.S. to other key destinations? What are the perceived barriers facing students who wish to study in the U.S.? What are the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. higher education compared to other potential destinations?

Key findings include:

1) the U.S. is seen as a study destination with a very high quality higher education system with a wide range of schools and programs as compared with other potential study destinations;

2) the U.S. is seen as a more welcoming country for international students than other potential study destinations;

3) cost was perceived to be the primary obstacle to international study regardless of destination, but students are aware of the many scholarship opportunities available for study in the U.S.; and

4) countries where English is not the primary language are seen as presenting a significant language barrier even though courses may be taught in English.

 

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