The United States has long been one of the most desired higher education destinations for international students. Students from other countries bring needed skills to the increasingly knowledge-based U.S. economy, build bridges between the United States and their own countries, and make other valuable contributions. Yet recent trends and changes after September 11, 2001, have raised concerns about whether the United States will continue to attract an appropriate share of talented international students to its universities and to its workforce after they graduate. In order to better understand issues related to global competitiveness and international students, the Comptroller General convened selected national leaders and experts in September 2006 to discuss current trends in international student enrollment in the United States and abroad. Participants were asked to explore (1) what is known about the potential impact of these trends, (2) challenges the United States faces in attracting international students, and (3) policies and strategies the country can pursue to compete for international students while also maintaining the nation's security. Invitees to the forum included experts from government, universities, research institutions, higher education organizations, and industry.
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