In the latest SEVIS by the Numbers update in March 2018, only two (2) among the top 10 sending countries recorded an increase in the number of students studying in the US: Brazil and Viet Nam. The other eight (8) saw decreases ranging from 4.43% to .28%. Brazil jumped two places from 9th to 7th. Taiwan surpassed Japan to take 8th place because its enrollment decrease was less than that of Japan, which slipped to 9th place. The downward trend continued for Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
Viet Nam, with a nominal increase of 224 students (.71%), is treading water, statistically speaking. The most notable increases and decreases among Vietnamese students were for secondary schools, i.e., boarding and day (from 4,129 or 13.2% to 4,448 or 14.1%), and language training (from 2,754 or 8.5% to 2,398 or 7.6%), respectively.
Since I’ve heard of modest decreases in Vietnamese visa applications across-the-board, including student visas, I don’t expect this situation to change between March and the end of the fiscal year. What happens this summer, the peak season for F-1 issuances, will tell the story for this year. Stay tuned.
Keep in mind that probably about 9% of the F-1 Vietnamese higher education enrollment is for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, based on IIE Open Doors 2017 data, meaning these are recent graduates who are currently working.
Top 10 Sending Countries as of March 2018
|Japan||24,809||23,710||-4.43% (9th in 3-18)|
|Taiwan||24,110||23,810||-1.24% (8th in 3-18)|
|Brazil||23,901||24,858||+4.00% (7th in 3-18)|