- NC State, Duke, and UNC anticipate a rebound in international student enrollment this Fall 2021.
- The reduction of flight offerings and the high demand for visas could still be a challenge for international students.
- The Triangle universities have experienced drops in international student enrollment because of the pandemic.
Following the downward surge of international student enrollment in 2020 due to the pandemic, North Carolina State University (NC State), University of North Carolina (UNC), and Duke University expect to recover and rise this upcoming fall.
Traveling to the United States could still be a challenge for international students with the reduction of flight offerings at hand. Even the demand for visas is outpacing the number of appointments at some U.S. consulates and embassies.
While that could be the case, these Triangle universities are still anticipating rebounding after the trims in international student enrollment in the previous year.
Before the ongoing health crisis, there has been significant growth among the international student population in the Triangle. Data from a Business Journals analysis of federal education has revealed that international student enrollment from 2011 to 2019 increased significantly.
Within that time frame, there was a 49 percent increase in international student enrollment in NC State, 48 percent in Duke University, and 28 percent in UNC-Chapel Hill.
However, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 has burdened hundreds of international students who were supposed to enter the United States and head to Triangle schools. The most extensive cuts in combined international undergraduate and graduate students were experienced by NC State with a 21 percent downward surge from its 2019 level.
Meanwhile, Duke has experienced a 14 percent drop, and UNC-Chapel Hill, with a smaller population than the other two institutions, had 10 fewer international student enrollments in 2020 than in 2019.
Even before the White House’s new directive that would strip visas from international students, Triangle educators have already expressed their concerns that such a directive would lead to drastic cuts in international student enrollment.
This upcoming Fall 2021 term, these Triangle universities expect to recover and finally redeem a bigger international student enrollment from prospective students coming from different countries around the globe.
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