Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Indonesian Enrollment Bounces Back in the U.S.

By Jordan Friedman
World Education Services

WES Student Advisor has been exploring some of the top emerging markets for international student recruitment in the U.S. So far, we’ve looked at VietnamBrazil and Nigeria. Next up is Indonesia.

In the past five years, Indonesia has experienced steady growth in the number of international students it sends to the U.S. But this increase came after more than a decade of almost consistent decline throughout the early 2000s, according to a WES report.

Let’s take a closer look at the trends: The number of Indonesian students in the U.S. rose steadily throughout the 1980s and 1990s, peaking at more than 13,000 students in 1998. But that number dropped from 2000 through 2010 (with a slight increase in 2008), eventually evening out in 2011. In the past few years, Indonesian enrollment in the U.S. has once again started rising, slowly but surely; by 2014, there were more than 7,900 Indonesian students in the U.S., marking the highest number in a decade.

Why did it happen this way? A 2014 WES report attributes the initial decline to the Asian financial crisis. However, now that Indonesia is starting to become one of the world’s greatest emerging economies (predicted to be the seventh largest by 2030), U.S. enrollment is starting to bounce back. By 2015, the United Nations Population Division expects that the Indonesian undergraduate population will make up about 8 percent of the total undergraduate population in the U.S. Currently, a majority of students from Indonesia in the U.S. are undergraduates. More than 30 percent are pursuing fields in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Admissions experts interviewed by WES have also found that reaching out to prospective students through digital and social media has served as an effective mode of communication. The use of social media is crucial to effectively reaching the Indonesian student population, the report suggests, as data reveal that there are about 69 million users on Facebook in the country.

That wraps up our series on emerging markets for international student recruitment. Thank you for reading!

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