International applications for graduate education programs in the U.S. on the rise

The number of international graduate applications for education programs in the U.S. grew at almost double the rate as that of applications to other master’s and doctoral programs this year, Inside Higher Ed recently reported.

According to the Council of Graduate Schools’ recently released annual report, international graduate student applications to U.S. institutions for this coming fall rose by 9 per cent compared to 2011 [the Alliance reported]. With a 17 per cent growth, the increase in applications for graduate education programs is especially striking, Inside Higher Ed notes, adding that Chinese students account for a large share of that percentage.

While he urges caution when looking at the newest data because only 5 per cent of international graduate students actually purse a degree in education, the Council of Graduate Schools’ director for research and policy analysis Nathan Bell says there are signs that the newest data “does suggest that perhaps the number of international students pursuing graduate degrees in education is on the rise.”

Inside Higher Ed adds:

“International students, especially those from China, have long favored the United States for graduate studies. But they’ve typically flocked to programs such as engineering or medicine, where the skills they gain might be more globally applicable. While scientific disciplines continue to enroll more international students, increased interest in studying education policy and in teaching English as a second language are driving international students … to pursue education degrees.”