Attracting the best and brightest

The rising international enrollment at U.S. colleges is a benefit.

by Daily Editorial Board

In an increasingly globalized world market, national borders and geography continue to be less of a determining factor for where people go to continue their education or do business. No longer do large companies simply compete with businesses located in the same country but rather compete with businesses around the globe. Likewise, workers and potential employees in the United States now have to compete with workers halfway around the world in China and everywhere in between.

Higher education is no different. When American colleges and universities work to recruit smart and innovative students, their search includes many more countries than just the U.S., and the country where universities seem to be looking the most is, not surprisingly, China.

According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education published Nov. 12, Chinese students coming to the United States seeking a quality undergraduate education continue to make up an increasingly large fraction of the overall international enrollment figures at U.S. colleges and universities. Even as student enrollment from other nations remains mostly stagnant, large increases in Chinese students as well as the number of students coming from Saudi Arabia continue to drive international enrollment numbers up.

This shift should be seen as a benefit to the overall U.S. economy. Because the U.S. is home to some of the world’s best colleges and universities, students from around the globe come here to study, and many end up staying here and provide a competitive boost to the workforce.

The nation’s elected officials and leaders within American higher education should continue to enact polices and create partnerships with other countries, especially China, to encourage more of the world’s best and brightest to study here in the U.S. Being able to draw a competitive workforce is an invaluable asset in a global market.