Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale said the economic benefits to the U.S. economy from from foreign students’ tuition, housing, and other expenses total nearly $20 billion each year.
At the EducationUSA Forum, Ms. McHale said bringing foreign students to study in the United States is just plain good business.
Ms. McHale highlighted that it is an imperative for the United States to maintain and expand our people-to-people connections. She added that providing opportunities for education and exchange to young people creates life-long ties that bolster its long-term security and prosperity.
“When students study in the United States, they return to their homes with a greater understanding of the United States and our people. And very often, they return to become government officials or business leaders in their home countries. This helps solidify the relationship between our nations and pays dividends of friendship and partnership for decades.” -Ms. McHale
She stressed that international students also fuel creativity and drive new ways of thinking on campus that helps all students unlock their potential.
Ms. McHale emphasized that promoting study in the United States is a priority at the highest levels of the U.S. government. She reiterated that President Obama spoke about his commitment to it during his State of the Union address this year.
“We have prioritized international study because we understand that this is not just a “nice to have” addition to our foreign policy, it is a strategic necessity.” -Ms. McHale
She pointed out that the United States has lost some of its market share in international study as other countries have entered the playing field. She noted that as more and more countries develop competitive programs, students might find it easier to apply to and enroll in the high-quality universities in Germany, Singapore, Australia, or other nearby countries.
“That is where the EducationUSA educational advising network comes in – to complement and amplify the work of your institutions in your international outreach, to correct misinformation for potential students, and to guide students through the full range of opportunities to study in the United States and how to apply.” – Ms. McHale
She elaborated that U.S. higher education has an outstanding reputation internationally because of its high quality, responsiveness, openness, and diversity. She explained that the great variety of its institutions’ sizes, missions, philosophies, and program offerings means every student can find their place in the United States.