Turkish and Other International Students in The International Education Reports of America


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Authors

  • Zeliha Kocak Tufan Turkish Embassy in DC

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10439734

Keywords:

Education, higher education, international students, education policies, academic diaspora

Abstract

 

Reports on international education and students in the United States of America (USA) have been published since 1919. The roots of these reports, currently known as the "Open Doors Report," trace back to the efforts of Dr. John R. Mott, President of the World Council of Churches, who established the "Committee on Good Relations with Foreign Students" in 1911. These efforts were initially conducted in collaboration with the International Institute of Education (IIE) during the first 30 years and were fully transferred to the IIE by the late 1940s. The reports initially named "Unofficial Ambassadors" and was later renamed "Education for One World" during the 1948-1949 period when it was entirely transferred to the IIE. Subsequently, in 1954-1955, it was renamed as the "Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange." In 1972, it received support from the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Today, the Open Doors Report is jointly produced by the IIE and ECA. Annually, it is unveiled through an organization with high-level representation, including the participation of the US Secretary of State. According to these reports, as of the period when this article was written, there are 1,057,188 international students in the US from 210 regions, with 299,000 newly enrolled. Among these students, 53% are of Indian and Chinese origin. Turkey ranks 19th among countries sending students to the US, with 8,657 students, 0.9% of international students in the US. It is also stated that international students contributed approximately $40.1 billion to the US economy in the 2022-2023 academic year, supporting 368,000 jobs. These reports play a significant role in shaping discussions during International Education Week, providing valuable insights for the formulation of new policies. Over the years, closely monitoring changes on a country-specific basis is essential for tailoring policies to the unique needs of each nation. Currently, the US and Europe are no longer obligatory destinations for higher education. Australia and Asian universities are also increasingly being preferred. Authorities in the US and Europe are advised to undertake additional efforts to attract students. Especially, concerns about safety in crowded cities, social isolation, gun shootings, mental health problems, increased suicide rates, economic problems, and a competitive environment in the US lead to a relative decrease in student rates for some countries. US authorities are taking measures, creating various projects to maintain their attractiveness in education. Focusing on facilitating enrollment procedures, registering at economically more affordable colleges before universities, providing language education at colleges, increasing accommodation options, diversifying social activities, and working on behavioral change and awareness for diversity and inclusivity are some areas of concentration to increase international student numbers. The "American Dream," "diversity," and "freedom" are key themes. Improvement in processes related to international students depends on understanding of data and past policies. Improvement can be achieved by following trends and enhancing social and cultural inclusivity for source countries as well.

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Published

2023-12-29

How to Cite

Kocak Tufan, Z. (2023). Turkish and Other International Students in The International Education Reports of America. Toplum, Eğitim Ve Kültür Araştırmaları Dergisi, 2(3), 153–163. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10439734

Issue

Section

Invited Paper