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U.S. Colleges and Universities: International Student Recruitment News You Can Use, June 2020

Over the last 27 years of my career in international education, there has never been a time as challenging as what we are facing at this moment. With the various regulatory changes, executive orders, testing challenges, regular communications with admitted international students, and, of course, how campuses re-open this fall, it’s a miracle we get any sleep these days.

My takes on the news this month:

So the bombshell we expected this week regarding restrictions on OPT was replaced by the latest executive order from the White House vowing to expel or prevent entry for existing and future grad students from China who are connected to the "military-civil fusion strategy" of the Chinese Communist Party.

Many colleges are waking up to the fact that new international students are going to make it to campus this fall. Providing real options is a must for this important demographic at this time.

Now is the time for innovation to be a guiding principle, as this Intead blog reflects well "human aspiration does not disappear due to strife, especially among young people."

Where can intl alumni help? In the admissions process, as brand ambassadors, supporting students’ emotional well-being, providing life skills and career guidance to students (and other alumni). Good advice.

Good to see some local news channels doing pieces on how restricting intl student visas would be damaging to the economy. 

Encouraging to see institutions like the College of Saint Rose being positive in its approach to innovation in challenging times.

So how are university plans developing for this fall? Hybrid forms of classroom instruction, longer days, and shorter semesters seem to be taking a hold on many campuses.

The opening line in this Forbes piece says it all: "The future of standardized testing is standing on shaky ground."

On the other end of the international student experience, colleges and business in the U.S. lobbied hard to maintain OPT and H1B. This is the long-term hill that our field will live or die this summer. Though the fight on H1Bs is lost till the new year/possible new administration, OPT is safe, for now. Kudos to all who have made advocacy an important part of your professional day-to-day work. It matters!

Are intl MBA students asking for deferrals due to the pandemic being told no by elite business schools in the U.S.? If so, shame on those schools. 

For far too long, US institutions have suffered from tuition creep. Now this pandemic has forced the hand of many schools. Some have adapted, and after offering tuition breaks, are seeing growth.

These conversations have happened on your campus, but what will your international students be willing to pay for online-only classes this fall?

Keep the faith, my friends. We will get through this together!

For insights on how to deepen your in-country international student recruitment, check in with one of August Network’s counselors.

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