With the winter holiday season upon us, many of us will find ourselves at gatherings with friends and family. What will you talk about? If I may, here is a suggestion: ask your friends and relatives to name the top exports from the United States of America.
You may hear answers such as airplanes, financial services, and even Hollywood films. All correct. But before the conversation ends, please make sure they learn that international higher education is a top 10 U.S. export. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that international students contributed nearly $38 billion to the U.S. economy last year.
As you know, last month was momentous for those of us in this field. The U.S. saw the fastest growth in international student enrollment in more than 40 years, sending a resounding message that students are, indeed, on the move again and eager to gain an education in the country. And while we are eager to put the pandemic behind us, we also know that we cannot retreat to business as usual.
That is why IIE joined ten of our peers to create the U.S. for Success Coalition last month. Together, we are calling for a national, coordinated strategy that will unlock the full potential of this valuable sector. If your organization has not yet joined the coalition, please sign up and participate in our survey. We want to hear from leaders and practitioners like you.
I am incredibly grateful for your commitment to international education.
Wishing you and yours a safe and happy New Year,