EnglishUSA Executive Director, Cheryl Delk-Le Good, presenting at October's Stakeholders' Conference.
Enrolment struggles continue for USA's IEPs
International student enrolment at Intensive English Programs (IEPs) in the USA is continuing to decline in 2017, according to member survey of fall trends by association EnglishUSA.

Completed by 125 member IEPs, the EnglishUSA 2017 Fall Enrolment Trends survey found that more than two thirds of respondents (69.6 per cent) suffered a decline in enrolments compared with the same semester in the previous year.


Just over 18 per cent said that enrolments increased compared with 2016, while recruitment stayed the same for the remainder.


For the member schools that experienced a decrease in international student enrolments, 45 per cent said that they declined by between 26 and 50 per cent, while a further 40 per cent cited drops between 11 and 25 per cent.


Questioned on perceived reasons for the fall in enrolments (with multiple answers possible), the most common response was US political climate on 71.7 per cent, followed by: the global economic situation (54.5 per cent); perceived US visa denials (47.4 per cent); loss of government-sponsored Saudi students (46.4); and current US visa policy (41.4).


Other reasons cited included the exchange rate of the US dollar, increased competition from other ELT destinations and lack of recruitment efforts by host institutions.


In StudyTravel Magazine's recently released Global Market Report on trends in the worldwide ELT industry for the year 2016, the USA suffered a loss of market share in student numbers, student weeks and industry value.


EnglishUSA's member survey would appear to suggest that the downward trend of market share will likely continue in 2017, particularly with rival destinations - including the UK - indicating growth expectations for the current year.


Of the 125 institutions completing the EnglishUSA survey, 72.8 per cent were university or college-owned and governed schools, while around 10 per cent were proprietary, stand-alone schools. EnglishUSA has more than 450 member programmes in total.


By Matthew Knott

News Editor