Topic of Interest:
There are a lot of different issues arising in higher education that I could have discussed for my blog. After a long look at my field and program, animal and poultry science, I decided to research and comment on international students in higher education because I see a lack in the animal science program.
International Students in Higher Education:
At my undergraduate college, there was little emphasis placed on international students. We only had a handful of students who were not from the United States and most of them seemed to be recruited to play sports. I was not involved in sports, other than being a spectator, and didn’t know many of the international students. However, when I was lucky enough to have a class with an international student, I appreciated my time in class.
I love learning about the different perspectives people have and the cultures people grew up in. I like to hear about how growing up in a country other than the United States has shaped someone. I fully and wholeheartedly believe that I gain something of value from being in a class and learning from international students.
According to Grawe, the United States also gains something from international students. Grawe states, “international students contribute substantially to the financial health of their colleges and universities, local communities, and state economies” (2019). I was unaware of just how much international students contribute financially to a university. What I also found interesting was the fact that “only one in six international students receive institutional aid” (Grawe, 2019). I am appalled at that number, but am sad to say I never knew how much of an issue scholarships to international students.
In my opinion, international students have a lot of unnecessary hoops they need to jump through in order to be eligible and receive higher education in the United States. I am not too familiar with the process, but from what I have heard in class and from peers, there are a lot of tests and costs involved.
Over the past few years, the number of international students that attend a university to receive higher education in the United States has declined. Grawe states, “the nearly 10% reduction in new students seen in the two years beginning in 2016/17 is notable given the incredible consistency of growth in this market seen in the previous 69 years” (2019).
What This Means for Animal Science:
I think in order to be the best you can be, you need to need a perspective check and to have an open mind. I don’t know a lot about livestock or the industry, but from what I have gathered from lectures, articles, and peers, the United States runs things differently than other countries. Now, I am not saying one way is better than the other, but I do think in order to improve, and there is always room for improvement, we need to take into consideration all the ways to do something.
From what I have seen in Animal and Poultry Sciences (APSC) thus far is a lack of diversity. I have also met only one international student in the program, that is not to say there isn’t more, I just have yet to personally meet others. Therefore, if the country’s percentage of international students is declining this means the program’s numbers will also decline. I believe this is when we will run into issues.
A national decrease in international students means that a majority of the students in APSC will come from similar backgrounds and have similar perspectives. How do we improve and get better if no one comes in and has differing opinions on how things can be run? Who will push us to do research on the best method if the methods aren’t being questioned?
To me, the decrease in international students is a tragedy that the United States needs to really look at. We need international students for many reasons and not just for our financial gain. I truly hope one day the process to come to the United States to gain a higher education will be easier, so we may continue to learn and grow together.
I also stumbled upon this video while doing research about international students in higher education. I would love to hear opinions on what people think of the video.
Grawe, Nathan, et al. “International Students and U.S. Higher Education.” Econofact, The Fletcher School Tufts University, 17 July 2019, https://econofact.org/international-students-and-u-s-higher-education.
Kelderman, Eric. “Why International Students Are Important at Indiana U.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 July 2018, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-International-Students-Are/243860.