Since 2004, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) in the United States has launched an empirical study called the CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey for several years. By examining the trends of international postgraduate applications, admissions, and admissions, the study responds well to the concerns of the major graduate institutions of the Graduate School Committee regarding the changing enrollment of international graduate students studying for masters and doctoral degrees in the United States.
The “Graduate School Committee International Graduate Admission Survey” mainly consists of three phases of the survey of CGS member institutions: the initial status of international graduate applications (initiated in February each year); the final status of the application and the initial admission status of the institutions (June each year Start the survey); final admission and student enrollment (starting survey every October). The scope of the “2014 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase I: Applications” (hereinafter referred to as “Phase I: Application”) includes the 509 of the Graduate School Committee. The colleges and universities in the United States (membership of university members data as of January 2014), a total of 308 colleges and universities participated in the questionnaire, the questionnaire recovery rate was 61%. The institutions participating in the questionnaire provided graduate applications from the top ten exporting countries to apply for the eight fields in the United States. The survey data for Phase One: Application shows that the number of overseas graduate students in the United States in 2014 increased by 7%, which is the ninth year of continuous growth. In the past eight years, the annual growth rate of international postgraduate applications has fluctuate between the highest 12% in 2006 and the lowest 2% in 2013. In 2014, the number of international postgraduate applicants in the field of eight universities was different. Among them, the number of applicants for physical and earth sciences, engineering, and business had the largest increase, which was 16%, 14% and 7%, respectively. The growth of these three disciplines was flat in 2013 (3%, 5% and 1%, respectively), and the large growth in 2014 may be expected to return strongly to the 2011 and 2012 growth levels. It is reported that the number of international graduate students in these three disciplines accounts for 64% of the total number of graduate students in the United States. In addition, the number of applicants for life sciences and education in 2014 decreased by 6% and 1%, respectively.
From the perspective of countries sending students abroad, in 2014, the number of graduate applicants from Brazil, India, and Mexico increased by 33%, 32%, and 2%, respectively, while the number of graduate students from Korea, Taiwan, and China decreased by 5%. 4% and 1%. It is noteworthy that, as the country with the largest number of graduate students in the United States, the number of graduate student applicants in China experienced a steady increase in 2011 (21%) and 2012 (19%), and began to show a turning point in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Declined by 3% and 1%. In contrast, the number of applicants in India in 2013 and 2014 increased rapidly, and the increase in 2014 was as high as 32%. From a student perspective, the number of graduate student applicants from the Middle East, Africa and Europe in 2014 increased by 7%, 6% and 3% respectively.
At the level of different types of institutions, in 2014, the number of international postgraduate applicants in U.S. public institutions increased by 8%, and private non-profit institutions increased by 4%. The number of applicants for master’s and doctoral degrees in the United States increased by 19% and 7%, respectively. According to regional divisions, the largest increase in international graduate applications received by institutions in the Western United States in 2014 was 16%, while those in the South, Midwest, and Northeast regions rose by 6%, 6%, and 3% respectively. Although international graduate student applications received by U.S. colleges and universities are still growing, subtle changes are taking place in major exporting countries and students. After the results of the second phase survey are released, the above findings will be further amended.