ACE to Study Impact and Perceptions of International Students
November 18, 2019

​Funding​ from the Charles Koch Foundation will support a survey of public attitudes and a convening of experts to develop an agenda for further research.

There are notable gaps in our knowledge about aspects of the international student experience in the United States, including their long-term career paths and contribution to the U.S. economy. The higher education community needs to go beyond assumptions and anecdotal evidence to learn more about international students’ careers, overall contribution to global competitiveness, and integration into our vibrant learning communities.

That is why ACE is launching a study funded by a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. A public survey and a research convening will form the basis of the project. The survey aims to measure public awareness of the benefits of international students, examine perceptions of international students’ contributions in the United States, and test statements that might address concerns. Pairing the survey with a convening of experts on international study in the United States will allow ACE to build a better understanding of recent trends and policies affecting the decisions of students and schools.

“Historically, international students have brought a wealth of new ideas and skillsets to our campuses,” said Charlie Ruger, vice president of philanthropy at the Charles Koch Foundation, which supports students and scholars pursuing research and expanding educational programs that help people reach their full potential. “We’re proud to support this work and eager to use the findings to enrich our institutions of higher education and ensure that we are not unintentionally creating barriers to opportunity for students who want to contribute to a vibrant and productive intellectual community.”

The invitation-only research convening will bring together experts to discuss a foundational paper on the existing research on international students. It will also aim to develop an agenda for future research.

“We believe that the results from this study will become an important part of the national discourse on the economic, political, and cultural importance of international students,” said Brad Farnsworth, vice president for global engagement at ACE.

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