Recommendations from the American International Recruitment Council suggest that entry points, including K-12 schools, public and private secondary schools, community colleges, as well as undergraduate and graduate institutions of higher education, offer prospective international students “unparalleled opportunities”.
Others include intensive English and pathway language programs, vocational and business training, short-term study abroad and exchange programs, volunteer, work and cultural programs and online learning, with many “not known or appreciated even by international student recruitment professionals”.
The group says promoting the entry points is one of two critical areas that the country should focus on.
The other is “facilitating the connections between these entry points”.
AIRC president Derrick Alex said the recommendations encourage US institutions to “value and promote the enormous breadth of educational options” offer in the country.
“If we support and promote the diverse range of educational opportunities that serve as entry points for international students and promote the linkages between these experiences, the US can achieve an interconnected education ecosystem to support accessible and flexible avenues by which international students flow to and within the US,” he said.
AIRC executive director Brian Whalen added that they seek to “articulate AIRC’s vision for how international student enrolment in the US can grow to benefit students, institutions, and our society and culture”.
“The US can achieve an interconnected education ecosystem to support accessible and flexible avenues”
“The recommendations will influence the broader conversations on US international education policies and the development of a national strategy while providing a unified advocacy agenda for AIRC and its members,” he added.
CEO of IIE, Allan Goodman, has also issued a call to US higher education institutions to “collectively reassert the value of gaining an education in the United States and to mobilise to make it even more accessible to students around the world”.
With international student applications to the US rebounding, there is a “rare and critical opportunity” to utilise capacity across institutions in the country, Goodman wrote.
Failure to do so will see the US continue to lose its market share, he suggested, but pointed to last month’s National Economic Strategy which prioritises international education as a top 10 US export.
“Let’s work together to seize this critical moment in our sector,” he said.
Among the working group developing the AIRC recommendations was Cheryl Delk Le Good from EnglishUSA, Maria Dietrich from Northampton Community College, Daniel Harper from Christian Brothers University and Michael Shaver of The Association of Boarding Schools.
It was chaired by Jing Luan, Provost Emeritus at the San Mateo Colleges of the Silicon Valley, who has previously lauded the opportunities at community colleges offering unique transfer agreements.