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Report: Fewer International Students Enrolled In Texas Schools

International student enrollment dropped 2.2 percent in Texas and half a percent nationwide

International student enrollment in Texas schools dipped 2.2 percent to 86,076, according to a new report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 1,929 fewer students are enrolled in Texas schools as of March 2018, compared to the same month a year ago.

The data contrasts with a slight increase in the number of Texas institutions that are certified to accept international students, now at 509 up from 500 in March 2017.

The study accounted for international students pursuing K-12, university and vocational education.

 

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In Houston, over 120 campuses serve international students. One of those institutions is Houston Baptist University, which welcomes the majority of its international students from Nigeria and China.

Shannon Bedo, Director of International Student Services at the university, said although her school saw more international students last fall, she expects a drop later this year.

"My guess is that we will probably start seeing the effect of the decline starting this fall," Bedo said. She also sits on the board of Study Texas, a collaborative that recruits international students to study in the state.

Bedo said many of her students fear instability around immigration and come to her with rumors.

"If they go home to visit their families, they are afraid their visa wouldn't be renewed so they can come back and finish their studies," Bedo said.

Despite some uncertainty around immigration, Bedo said Houston is an attractive city for immigrants for numerous reasons including affordability, diversity, job opportunities and the medical center.

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Elizabeth Trovall

Elizabeth Trovall

Immigration Reporter

Elizabeth Trovall is an immigration reporter for Houston Public Media. She joined the News 88.7 team after several years abroad in Santiago, Chile, where she reported on business, energy, politics and culture. Trovall's work has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, Latino...

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