Viet Nam Enrollment Up 6%, According to SEVIS Biannual Report

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For some reason, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), decided to issue an update on international student enrollment as of May 2017.  There are currently 1.18 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status studying at 8,774 schools in the US, according to the latest SEVIS by the Numbers update (PDF), of whom 77% are from Asia. 

Based on data extracted from SEVIS May 5, the international student population increased 2% compared to May 2016, with 76% of students enrolled in higher education programs of study.  Based on past increases, or taking a glass is half-empty look at that increase, it’s very modest at best, and a harbinger of a downward trend at worst. 

[In my opinion, May is not the best time to be analyzing and comparing international enrollment figures in the US because it’s the end of the academic year.  Why not wait until October, after the beginning of the new academic year?]

China and India continue to send the largest number of students to the US with 362,368 students and 206,698 students, respectively.  Saudi Arabia experienced the largest decline at -19% and Nepal the most sizable increase at +18%.

There are some bright spots, however, including one related to Vietnamese enrollment.  Viet Nam was one of a handful of sending countries with a notable increase of 6% from May 2016 to May 2017.  India was in the same range with a 7% increase. 

Fields of Study

There are no surprises here.  Business, including management, marketing and related support services, are the most popular fields of study, followed by engineering, computer science, remedial education and liberal arts.  43% of international students enroll in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs of study. DHS classifies

Regional Trends

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This biannual report includes a new section on regional data trends.  Below are some excerpts from the SEVIS update:

Northeast:  The international student population in the Northeast increased 4% when compared to May 2016, marking the highest proportional growth of the four US regions. Rhode Island was the only state in the region to experience a dip in the number of international students compared to the previous year, while New York and Massachusetts added the largest number of international students during that same period, 4,490 students and 2,770 students, respectively. New Jersey saw an increase of 10% in international students pursuing bachelor’s degrees.

South:  In the South, the international student population grew 3% since May 2016. Florida, Georgia and Texas all saw significant increases in the number of international students studying in those states.  While Louisiana, Tennessee and Oklahoma saw decreases in the number of international students studying there.

Arkansas, Kentucky and Maryland all saw major growth in international students taking part in their higher education system. Maryland saw a 10% increase in the number of students earning a bachelor’s degree. However, the southern region saw the largest growth at the graduate degree level. The number of international students pursuing master’s degrees increased 25% in Arkansas and 35% in Kentucky.

Midwest:  The Midwest saw minimal growth of 1%. Illinois added 1,331 students to its international student population, marking the largest increase in the region, while Nebraska experienced the largest proportional growth of 7%. Missouri experienced the largest decrease in international students, both in terms of student numbers and proportional decline, 763 students and 3%, respectively.

West:  In the western part of the US, international student enrollment stayed relatively static in California, other than an 8% increase in the number of students earning bachelor’s degrees. Idaho saw a 14% drop in the total number of international students studying in the state, with a 16% decrease in the number of students earning a bachelor’s degree. Nevada’s international student population grew by 5%, marking the largest proportional growth in the region.

The top 10 host states for Vietnamese students are as follows: 

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Washington
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New York
  6. Florida
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Illinois
  9. Virginia
  10. Georgia

The top three states enroll 46% of all Vietnamese students, while the top 10 enroll nearly 72% of the total.  Consistent with the regional trends reported above, Florida surpassed Pennsylvania and Georgia displaced Minnesota from November 2016.  

Stay tuned for the next, and much more interesting, update on the number of international students in the US, including from Viet Nam! 

MAA

Viet Nam Moves Up to 5th Place Among Sending Countries

vietnam buck trump effect

In my latest University World News article I write about the increase in the number of Vietnamese students studying in the US from November 2016 to March 2017, and the fact that Viet Nam was the only country to move up in the ranking of sending countries, displacing Canada in fifth place, as I predicted last year.

Follow this link to the read the article in its entirety.

A note to colleagues who will be attending the NAFSA annual conference and who have an interested in Viet Nam:  I’ll be participating in the following events.

Riding the Wave Viet Nam Student Recruitment Seminar: Monday, 29 May (unofficial)  Online registration is required.

Keys to Successful Non-Commission-Based Recruitment in Vietnam:  Friday, 2 June (general session)

MAA

Five Emerging Markets for US-Bound Students, Including Viet Nam

Diversification is the name of the game in sustainable recruitment strategies.  These markets have impressive mobility potential for years to come.  (ICEF Insights, p. 18)

The fall 2016 issue of ICEF Insights, a magazine for international education professionals, identified five emerging markets, including Viet Nam, Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Iran.

emerging-market-vn2

A glance at the 11/16 SEVIS quarterly update reveals the following real-time enrollments at all levels, but mostly higher education, in these countries.  In descending order they are:

  • Viet Nam:  30,180 (6th)
  • Iran:  12,427 (11th)
  • Nigeria:  14,495 (14th)
  • Indonesia:  8,873 (19th)
  • Colombia:  10,498 (23rd)

The rankings are from Open Doors 2016, i.e., from fall 2015 and higher education only.

MAA

US Community Colleges Made a Comeback Among Vietnamese Students in 2015/16!

2plus2Last academic year, there was a spike in Vietnamese enrollment in US community colleges (CC) over the previous year.  According to Open Doors 2016, Viet Nam ranked 2nd – after China – with 9.6% of total enrollment in a community college.

This means that 9,156 Vietnamese students began their US higher education at a two-year school with the goal of transferring to a four-year institution to complete their Bachelor’s degree.  Since the undergraduate enrollment was 14,383, approximately 64% of all Vietnamese undergraduates in the US were community college students.

Before my CC colleagues get too excited, keep in mind that these Open Doors 2016 data are from fall 2015, i.e., already a year old.  The percentages of Vietnamese students who begin their studies at a four-year institution or a community college are almost even, based on the latest 11/16 SEVIS quarterly update.  (CC enrollment is 29.3% vs. 31% for four-year schools.)  This has been the trend, with occasional deviations, since 2009/10.

That was a time when 90% (!) of all Vietnamese undergraduates were enrolled in a CC with most following a 2+2 path.  In 2005, CCs were virtually unknown in Viet Nam.  THAT’S the power of the media and word-of-mouth marketing.  (I wrote an article for the spring 2016 CCID e-newsletter entitled Community College vs. Four-Year Enrollment Trends in Vietnam:  From Steady Decline to Sudden Rebound in which I summarized these trends.  This is a PDF download.  Scroll down to p. 11 to read the article.)

The bottom line is that Vietnamese CC enrollment remains strong for the usual reasons:  cost and convenience (2+2 model), plus the popular high school completion program in Washington state.  (The latter is the academic equivalent of killing two academic birds with one stone.)  Quite a few of these Vietnamese students are in the top three host states of CA, TX, and WA.

MAA

“Welcome to the US, Vietnamese students”

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This is the title of a recent VNExpress International article for which I was interviewed.  Here is one of the key quotes: 

“Study in the U.S. is not for everyone, but if the U.S. is where you want to study, don’t let the result of a presidential election dissuade you from realizing your dream,” said Ashwill, managing director of Capstone Vietnam, a full-service educational consulting company with offices in Hanoi and HCMC.  

It contains a lot of good information about young Vietnamese studying in the US, including some facts and figures from a recent blog post Viet Nam Ranks 6th Among Countries Sending Students to the US

Follow this link to read the article in its entirety. 

MAA

Viet Nam Ranks 6th Among Countries Sending Students to the US

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According to the latest SEVIS by the Numbers quarterly update (PDF download), prepared by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), there are 1.23 million international students with F (academic) or M (vocational) status studying in the US.  (Note:  Unlike the IIE annual Open Doors report, the SEVIS data encompass all levels of education.

Based on data extracted from SEVIS on 7 November 2016, one day before the US presidential election, the international student population in the US increased 2.9% compared to November 2015.  Viet Nam was one of three major sending countries in Asia with a YoY increase (4.5%) – after  China (5.2%) and India (14.1%). 

The top ten countries are as follows: 

1.  China:  387,987
2.  India:  206,584
3.  South Korea:  74,818
4.  Saudi Arabia:  62,075
5.  Canada:  31,151
6.  Viet Nam: 30,180
7.  Japan:  26,502
8.  Taiwan:  24,096
9.  Brazil:  20,989
10. Mexico:  18,996

Spotlight on Viet Nam

Viet Nam continues to distance itself from Japan and Taiwan and will likely surpass Canada in the coming year.  There are Vietnamese students in all 50 states, ranging from 6 in Alaska (#50) to 6,212 in California (#1).  There is even one (1) studying in Puerto Rico.  

As you can see from the graph below, 83.1% are enrolled in higher education, including 10.1% in English language programs, 60.3% undergraduates (slightly more at four-year institutions, a recent trend), and 12.7% in graduate programs.  The secondary enrollment, i.e., boarding and day schools, continues to increase. It now stands at 3756, 12.4% of total Vietnamese enrollment. 

11-16-educ-level-breakdown

The gender is virtually unchanged with about 10% more females than males.  This breakdown is noticeable in advising and student participation in various activities related to study in the USA. 

11-16-gender-breakdown

This clickable map for every sending country (see link to Mapping SEVIS by the Numbers below) provides information about the number of students in every state, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.  The bluer the state, the more students from that particular country.  As you can see below, the bluest states for Vietnamese students are California, Texas, and Washington, which rank #1, #2, and #3, respectively. 

11-16-vn-students-by-state

For more detailed information by country, including gender breakdown, education breakdown by level, and student population by state, check out Mapping SEVIS by the Numbers.  It features an interactive map that illustrates trends and information on international students studying in the US, which can be viewed at the continent, region, and country level.

For those keeping a close watch on the possible negative impact of a Trump presidency on international enrollments, the SEVIS quarterly updates are the most useful and timely source of information. Stay tuned for the spring term update!

MAA

Open Doors 2016: Viet Nam Ranks 6th

According to the latest Open Doors (OD) report on international educational exchange, released today by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to kick off International Education Week (IEW), there were over 1 million international students studying in the US in 2015/16.  NOTE:  In contrast to the SEVIS by the Numbers quarterly updates, the OD data are always one-year old and limited to institutions of higher education. 

Viet Nam ranks 6th with the second highest percentage increase (14.3%) – after India (24.9%). 

Among the top 10 places of origin, only three (3) recorded substantial increases, including India, Viet Nam, and China (8.1%).  Japan remained the same and Taiwan increased by less than 1% while four(4) countries sent fewer students to the US:  Brazil (-18.2%), South Korea (-4.2%), Mexico (-1.9%) and Canada (-1%).  Declining enrollment among a number of the top 20 sending countries could very well continue and, in some cases, accelerate, during a Trump administration.

TOP 10 PLACES OF ORIGIN OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, 2014/15 & 2015/16
Rank Place of Origin 2014/15 2015/16 % of Total % Change
  WORLD TOTAL 974,926 1,043,839 100.0 7.1
1 China 304,040 328,547 31.5 8.1
2 India 132,888 165,918 15.9 24.9
3 Saudi Arabia 59,945 61,287 5.9 2.2
4 South Korea 63,710 61,007 5.8 -4.2
5 Canada 27,240 26,973 2.6 -1.0
6 Viet Nam 18,722 21,403 2.1 14.3
7 Taiwan 20,993 21,127 2.0 0.6
8 Brazil 23,675 19,370 1.9 -18.2
9 Japan 19,064 19,060 1.8 0.0
10 Mexico 17,052 16,733 1.6 -1.9

Not surprisingly, Viet Nam remains a solid undergraduate market.  The breakdown by category is as follows: 

Undergraduate – 67.23%
Graduate – 15.09%
Non-Degree – 9.8%
OPT (Optional Practical Training) – 7.8%

The top fields of study among Vietnamese students are – in descending order:

  • Business/Management:  29.8%
  • Social Sciences:  10.6%
  • Intensive English:  9.8%
  • Engineering:  9.6%
  • Math/Computer Science:  8.8%
  • Other/Undecided:  8.4%
  • Physical/Life Sciences:  5.1%
  • Fine/Applied Arts:  3.9%
  • Health Professions:  3.8%
  • Education:  1.2%
  • Humanities:  1.1%

MAA