Research Report 12

The Foreign Student Factor: Their Impact on American Higher Education

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Over the last two decades there have been many studies examining issues related to the presence of international students in American institutions of higher education. The present study will further inform our view of international students in America by looking at the general characteristics, goals, and attitudes of foreign students in relation to those of their American counterparts.

Additionally, regional enrollments, degrees conferred, and the type of institution selected by each group are examined comparatively, using data bases that regularly track the characteristics and trends of domestic students. The addition of this information to existing knowledge should enable American institutions of higher education better to anticipate and meet the needs of international students who come to the United States for post-secondary education.

The information reported in this study was obtained from two sources: the Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) and the annual freshman survey of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP).

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