International student enrollment at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus has decreased for the second year in a row.
Hannah Buxbaum, vice president for international affairs, acknowledged the rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have played a role, but she said the 45th president is only part of the story. The U.S. is no longer seen as the only option for students who want an English-language higher education experience. Universities in other countries with lower tuition rates have realized the benefits of a global student body and expanded their English-language curriculums, she said.
Buxbaum believes having a diverse and sizable group of international students is essential for higher education in the 21st century. She’s working to ensure that’s something IU continues to offer, despite the changing climate of international education.
“We can’t reverse the national trend,” she said, “but we can offset its effects here.”
The number of international students enrolled at the Bloomington campus has decreased by more than 700 students since reaching 6,531 in the fall of 2016. Buxbaum knew the obstacles she would face when she took over as vice president in July. She taught international business transactions as a professor in IU’s Maurer School of Law and was the academic director of IU’s Europe Gateway office in Berlin, Germany, the country where she was born. She moved to California as a child and now holds dual citizenship.