“Internationalizing the Community College Campus”

Here’s an informative article by Nick Clark, Editor, World Education News & Reviews, that touches on source country trends, receiving institution trends, community colleges as an international model, internationalization challenges, and successful recruiting models.  Vietnam is, of course, an important part of this story.

Students at community colleges come from a diverse range of countries, and while the top source countries align to a degree with the broader overall tertiary enrollment picture, there are clearly countries where the U.S. community college model is better understood and appreciated than in others.

Among Chinese students, for example, community colleges tend to be a far less popular option than the traditional university route. Community college enrollments accounted for less than 6 percent of the total Chinese tertiary body in the United States in 2010/11, while as a percentage of the total international body, Chinese students in the two-year sector represented just one in 10 students – versus more than one in five of all international higher education enrollments.

Even more telling is the distribution of Indian students across academic levels. Of the 103,895 Indian students in U.S. institutions of higher education in 2010/11, just 2.6 percent, or 2,336, were studying at the community college level. And among the 28,145 Canadian students, the fourth biggest cohort of international students in the U.S., just 1,438 were attending community colleges in 2011.

On the flip side of the coin, students from countries and territories such as Vietnam, Mexico, Hong Kong, Nepal, and Indonesia enroll at the community college level at a disproportionally higher level than students from other countries. In the case of Vietnam, almost 60 percent of students in U.S. higher education were attending a community college in 2010/11. This compares to 12.4 percent at the community college level among all international students. Meanwhile, 40 percent of students from Hong Kong were studying at the two-year level in 2011, along with 31 percent of Mexicans and Indonesians, and 28 percent of Nepalese students.

Source:  Institute of  International Education; image courtesy of WES

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