December 2021
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The Global Lens delivers insight and analysis on issues impacting international education in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 Latin America and the Caribbean Updates

IIE Outreach Officer, Marcy Herr, giving a talk at a school in the British Virgin Islands on September 2021.

Record Number of Students Apply to NYU Abu Dhabi Campus

After the first of three application deadlines, a record number of 58 Latin American and Caribbean students, applied to the NYU Abu Dhabi Campus - a 41.5% increase. The IIE NYU Abu Dhabi Outreach Team utilized a hybrid strategy to connect with educators and reach more students than was possible previously through a purely in-person strategy. With two more application deadlines approaching in January, numbers should increase significantly as the team continues to support the applicants.

NYUAD has around 1,800 students from over 115 countries who have returned to campus for in-person classes as they pursue 26 different bachelor’s degree programs. The outreach team is putting together a hybrid outreach strategy again for the spring semester as they continue to promote the university region wide. Click here to learn more about NYUAD.

Assessment team member Iván Guerra facilitating an academic workshop on September 2021 for New EduLight Team, an ETS TOEFL organization, affiliated through IIE LAC, and dedicated to the advancement of bilingual education for schools and organizations all over Latin America.

70% of English Assessment Solutions in Mexico Delivered Digitally 

With schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) in Mexico opting for a digital TOEFL Platform and remote supervision mode since March 2020, the uptake in digital assessments reached 70% of the total ITP tests taken during the 2020-21 academic year, up from 5% in the months before Covid-19 hit. To facilitate digital test taking going forward, our team will continue to work closely with institutions on three fronts to comply with test security measures and meet the high standards expected by TOEFL exam users:

  1. Curricular and Academic Support: After a need’s analysis, our team will craft information sessions, workshops, and academic talks for institutions to support coordinators in assessing how the tool integrates with their curricula, syllabi, and courses. Additionally, institutions will be able to access frequent short videos that air on our social media to explain the tool’s design, exam and platform characteristics, and statistics.
  2. Alignment Between IIE and Institutions: After digital tests are proctored, IIE and institutions will jointly debrief on the experience to ensure that proctors can confidently replicate test sessions within their academic communities.
  3. Technical Troubleshooting and Advising: Proctors and our team will ensure every user obtains support, as needed, during every step of the testing experience, while also building trust on using the tool and bridging the gap between the paper and the digital experiences for users and proctors alike.

Thanks to these efforts between schools, HEIs, and our team, an ever-growing number of users can now find out their test results in seconds to support their goals of meeting admissions and graduation requirements, and English language level placement for continued learning. Click here to learn more about the different assessment solutions offered by IIE LAC. 

 Publications and Research

Open Doors Report 2021 Just Released

The 2021 Open Doors Annual Data Release took place Monday, November 15th, 2021 (watch it here). According to this year's findings, released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, and as expected, there was an overall decrease of 15% of international students coming into the United States. In Latin America and the Caribbean, specifically, there was a decrease of 10% for Argentina, 16% for Brazil, and 9.5% for Mexico. To see figures for the other 43 countries and territories of Latin America and the Caribbean, see full 2021 Fact Sheet.

The Fall 2021 International Student Enrollment Snapshot, which complements the Open Doors Report, includes the findings from a survey of 864 U.S. higher education institutions on current patterns in international student enrollment as of Fall 2021. The report focuses on international students studying at U.S. higher education institutions in person or online (in the United States or from abroad). Findings from the Fall 2021 Snapshot reflect the resilience of the U.S. higher education system in the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued support for international students:

  • The total number of international students (enrolled and on Optional Practical Training (OPT)) increased by four percent, a rebound from the 15 percent decrease reported in Open Doors for Fall 2020.
  • The total number of enrolled students (undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree students) at U.S. universities increased by eight percent, indicating a marked improvement over the prior year when total international student enrollments fell by 17 percent.
  • Higher education institutions report a 68 percent increase in the number of new international students enrolling for the first time at a U.S. institution in the United States or online from abroad, a surge from the 46 percent decline reported in Open Doors for Fall 2020.
  • Ninety-nine percent of responding institutions are holding classes in-person or implementing a hybrid model. Only one percent of institutions are offering online classes only in Fall 2021.
  • For outreach and recruitment to prospective international students, institutions are leveraging current international students (64%), online recruitment events (56%), and social media (55%). Seventy-seven percent of reporting institutions indicate that financial support for their student recruitment efforts is the same or higher than in previous years.

Click here to see the full report.


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