Survey on a National Strategy for U.S. International Education 

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Survey Origins and Development

This survey was created by Elle Butler and Jessica Sandberg in consultation with the following organizations: AACRAO, ACCT, ACE, AIEA, AIRC, IIE, NACAC, NAFSA, The Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, the US for Success Coalition, EnglishUSA and others. The idea for this survey originated from the 2023 Think Tank event. It has been developed by IDP at no cost and the results of the survey will be shared with the public at no cost.


The United States is among the most popular destinations for international education and yet, is the only one lacking a centralized national strategy. Instead, a network of federal agencies, state governments, higher education institutions, and private organizations work asymmetrically to promote and support international education activities. 

Other destination countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, and France, have more coordinated and comprehensive national strategies for international education which typically include goals and targets for: international student enrollment; the quality and diversity of education offerings; partnerships and collaborations with other countries; and intercultural competencies among students and educators. Some also have dedicated agencies or ministries to oversee and implement international education policies, such as the British Council, Universities Australia; and EduCanada.


What is a national strategy for international education?
A working definition is a coordinated plan that sets out a country's objectives, policies and initiatives to enhance global higher education engagement, with an emphasis on optimizing participation and diversity in student exchanges, setting benchmarks for colleges and universities, fostering campus internationalization, facilitating overseas partnerships, and developing initiatives to attract international students.


The purpose of this survey is to identify collective strategic priorities for international education in the U.S. among higher education leaders and stakeholders. The survey explores the preferred size and composition of the international student body in the U.S., opinions on access and affordability issues, interest in cooperative efforts, and role expectations in developing and sustaining a national strategy. 

The results of this survey will be shared with the public in February 2024.


This survey is designed for leaders in higher education who possess influence, perspective and vested interest in the strategic integration of international education in the United States. This may include but is not limited to: university presidents, provosts, deans, vice presidents, trustees, directors, and senior international officers. It will also be valuable to hear from senior executives within stakeholder organizations and private companies actively engaged in this field.


Please respond to the following questions to share your insights regarding a national strategy for international education in the U.S. Some questions pertain to your institution/organization, while others address the country as a whole. Please review each question carefully.

Related Sources

Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education (U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education): 

2023 National Export Strategy ( (U.S. Department of Commerce)

Issue Brief: The United States Needs A Coordinated National Strategy For International Education | NAFSA (NAFSA)

AIRC Recommendations for Advancing International Student Recruitment and Enrollment in the United States (AIRC)

Approaches to internationalisation - final - web.pdf ( (OECD)

Current-Policies-Future-Directions-Part-2-US.pdf ( (American Council on Education)

Questions / For More Information

For questions or more information about the survey, please contact Elle Butler at

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This survey is published and managed by IDP Connect Inc.  

Participation in this survey is voluntary. All of the information that you provide will be treated as confidential and will only be used for research purposes. Your responses and comments will not be identified as belonging to you; instead, they will be combined with those gathered from other survey participants and will be analyzed as part of a group. When designing and executing our research, it is our policy to take all necessary steps to ensure that personal information you provide is processed fairly and lawfully. We do not use any of the information you provide for direct marketing or other non-research activities. 

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