The 2015 Open Doors Report produced by the International Educational Exchange (IIE) finds the number of students from Côte d’Ivoire enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities increased from 1,116 students in 2014 to 1,227 in 2015. This increase of 10 percent is notably higher than the overall eight percent increase for sub-Saharan Africa, from 31, 113 students in 2013-14 up to 33,593 in 2014-15.
Students from Côte d’Ivoire study primarily at the undergraduate level, with 68.6 percent enrolled in undergraduate programs and 14.3 percent at the graduate level in academic year 2014-15. The remaining students are pursuing vocational training or non-degree programs such as English Language studies.
The increase is attributed in part to regular outreach efforts promoting study in the U.S. Education USA Advisor Nina Toyo holds monthly information meetings for students and collaborates with secondary schools throughout Côte d’Ivoire to encourage study in the U.S. To mark International Education Week, Education USA organized a contest between two secondary schools in Bingerville. Entitled the ‘Battle of the Schools: I am a Student, I am an Ambassador,’ the program featured poetry, music, dance and comedy, with each school presenting skits conveying a positive image of the African student. The competition was judged by representatives from two visiting U.S. universities, the University of Delaware and Northern Kentucky University. The representatives from these two institutions also accompanied the EducationUSA Advisor on visits to 14 high schools in Abidjan to meet students, parents, and discuss study in the U.S.
“International experience is one of the most important components of a 21st century education,” said IIE’s President Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “Studying abroad is one of the best ways for undergraduate and graduate students to gain the international experience necessary to succeed in today’s global workforce. And studying in another country prepares students to be real contributors to working across borders to address key issues in the world we share.”
There are now 73 percent more international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities than were reported a decade ago and the rate of increase has risen steadily for the past five years. International students now constitute almost five percent of the more than 20 million students enrolled in U.S. higher education, up from around four percent in previous years.
For more information about opportunities to study in the U.S., please visit Education USA’s Facebook page at: http://www.educationusa.state.gov.
The Open Doors Report can be found here: www.iie.org/opendoors.