The Collective Public Policy Voice of the Exchange Community

Alliance Commentary

Analysis of the latest news around Washington, D.C. and the exchange community from Alliance staff and members.

Navigating the Paradox: International Student Visa Trends in 2023

The dynamic landscape of international education has been marked this year by a powerful paradox: aspiring international students are displaying a renewed interest in studying in the U.S., yet this enthusiasm is met with a growing struggle to secure visas. A dichotomy emerges – while U.S. enrollments are surging for the first time since the pandemic, a shadow looms as visa denials rise. Collectively, these elements shape the trajectory of international student mobility, offering insights into the United States’ public diplomacy impact and its role as a competitive global player.

FY24 Appropriations Recap and Outlook

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed their subcommittee and full committee markups of their respective State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bills in recent weeks. Educational and cultural exchanges were funded at $700.95M (approx. 10% decrease) by the House bill and $779.5M (approx. 0.25% increase) by the Senate bill. See the chart below for more details and a comparison with the President’s budget request and current enacted level.

McCarry Leadership Award – Call for Nominations

Nominations for the 2023 McCarry Leadership Award are now live! Young professionals committed to the exchange field and looking for opportunities to grow in their work, as well as supervisors of exceptional young professionals are encouraged to review the award materials and submit applications no later than Friday, September 8.

Intl ed signaled as top export priority for first time in new National Export Strategy

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Export Strategy identifies international education as a top export priority. The report outlines the significant economic contributions that stem from international education (in 2022, U.S. exports of education-related travel totaled $37.68 billion, a 17% increase from the year prior) and five novel approaches to promoting education and exchange opportunities in the U.S.