Highlights from IIE Report: COVID-19 Effects on US Higher Education Campuses

by | Aug 1, 2020 | Trends

Things were already not looking good for international students before Harvard and MIT sought a legal remedy to the current administration’s plan to limit or deny student visas.  Read on.

Based on a survey of U.S. colleges and universities launched in April 2020 to study the impacts of COVID-19 on study abroad, the Institute of International Education (IIE) found that in addition to canceling on-campus classes and events, 88% of participating institutions canceled international travel for faculty and staff while 82% canceled international travel for students. 

3144 international students could not travel to the U.S. in Spring 2020

Alternative options include distance education, deferment to fall or summer 2020, leave of absence for spring 2020 or refund.

81% of U.S. students studying abroad in spring 2020 returned to the United States 

At the time of the survey, 76% of survey participants planned virtual instruction only for summer 2020; while 85% had not made a decision about fall.

With global travel advisories in effect, a pandemic that may still be ongoing throughout regions globally, and concerns from students, parents, faculty, and staff, approximately 85% of institutions anticipate a decline in the interest of students to go abroad in the coming academic year. These potential declines could be exacerbated by a global recession, which would make study abroad more financially difficult for students.

The full report is available at:

Source: Martel, M. (2020, May). COVID-19 Effects on U.S. Higher Education Campuses: From Emergency Response to Planning for Future Student Mobility. Institute of International Education.


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