“While the overall number of international students studying in the US declined, Hawai’i’s numbers are holding steady thanks to our continued marketing,” Dennis Ling, administrator of the Business Development & Support Division, which leads the program for international student exchanges said.
“Our overall numbers are increasing and this led to an increase in revenue, but the nature of the students has shifted somehow”
The report showed that international student spending supported 5,264 jobs, generated $219.8m in household income and $38.2m in state taxes in 2017. On average, students spent overall $18,697 a year for living expenses and tuition fees.
There were a total of 12,916 international students in Hawai’i in 2017, with short-term students account for over half of all international student numbers.
Although figures are not directly comparable to last year’s survey, Study Hawai’i director Joel Weaver told The PIE News that there has definitely been an increase over the past year – but mostly for short-term students on specialised training programs, including language courses, a trend that Weaver said Hawai’i has observed since 2011/12.
According to the report, short-term students account for over half of all international student numbers.
However, two countries which previously held high-ranking positions disappeared from the top-25: Brazil and Saudi Arabia.
Brazil’s dramatic decline can be partially attributed to the end of its Scientific Mobility Program, the report explains, while Saudi Arabia’s can be explained with changes to the country’s scholarship programs.
A sharp decline in students from Saudi Arabia was also noted in IEP programs across the US in IIE data earlier this year.
The report is based on the responses of the Hawai’i International Education survey, which is run every year by DBEDT in collaboration with Study Hawai’i. Responses were received from 34 educational institutions in Hawai’i.