Top U.S. Universities Given Permission to “Fish” in Global Markets

U.S. Studies Center Chief Geoff Garrett has confirmed that top U.S. universities are looking to increase enrollment of international undergraduate students.

“In the wake of the global financial crisis, US state universities were turning to foreign undergraduates for the first time to compensate for funding cuts, Professor Garrett told the HES.  The obvious implication is the market for foreign students will become more competitive because you will have a lot of large and high-prestige universities competing for the students,” he said.  “University of California, Berkeley, is an extremely powerful global brand and Berkeley now wants to attract a lot of foreign undergraduates.”

As well, the cheaper US dollar, plenty of student accommodation and faster visa approval times should give the US an edge. Professor Garrett said American state universities had been told “they can fish in the global market and charge the global price. That’s a very important revenue stream for cash-strapped universities.”  “That’s a big change,” Professor Garrett said. “The University of California has 10 campuses, including Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Diego; top-ranked universities. Until the financial crisis, they weren’t in the market.  After the crisis they will be.”

Dorm rooms like these are a major advantage to American Universities looking to attract foreign students.

US universities – unlike their commuter-based Australian counterparts – also could offer foreign undergraduates established residential infrastructure, he said.  “If you combine their brand power plus their big residential services, that’ll make them very competitive very quickly in the foreign undergraduate student market.””

Residential infrastructure?  He probably means dormitories.  American students deride dormitories and take for them for granted.  However, unlike the housing arrangements in most other countries, dormitories in the U.S. provide a safe and enriching college experience as students are required to live, learn, and inevitably grow around the student’s peers.   Though some dormitories are slightly dilapidated, all are quite habitable and better maintained than the typical housing that surround a University.  Some dormitories are quite nice and are looking to get significantly nicer.

The full article is available here.


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