Crunch the numbers: The latest edtech data on AI tools, international students, and online learning perceptions

The latest and greatest survey results compiled by Anthology, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE), and Champlain College

Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, announced this month the results of its 2023 global research study: Comparing Global University Mindsets and Student Expectations. The survey results reveal the perceptions and realities of generative AI use among university leaders and students in the U.S., and how they differ from colleagues in other parts of the world based on a survey of more than 5,000 current students and university leaders across 11 countries.

AI use among U.S. students growing but lags global peers
The survey revealed intriguing differences in the adoption of generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, among university students in the United States compared to their peers in other countries. Overall, 38% of students in the United States reported using generative AI tools frequently or occasionally.

While the U.S. has a lower percentage of frequent users of AI writing tools on a weekly basis (10% compared to a global average of 23%), a higher proportion are occasional users (monthly use) (28%). The study also highlights a comparable rate of experimentation with AI tools between the U.S. and other countries. However, a significant percentage of U.S. students remain unfamiliar with or do not use generative AI writing tools, marking a significant divergence in adoption (22% of students in the United States vs. 12% of students in other countries surveyed).

While more than half of the students in the U.S. expect to increase their use of AI tools over the next six months, this is a slower rate of increase than their peers in other countries where 71% anticipate their use of AI tools will increase.

These findings reveal a unique pattern of AI tool utilization among U.S. university students, reflecting a blend of cautious exploration and periodic engagement.

University leaders in the U.S. are also slower to embrace generative AI. Only 26% report using AI tools frequently or occasionally, in contrast to their counterparts in the United Arab Emirates (54%) and Singapore (49%), who reported the highest use of generative AI tools. The study’s insights have broader implications for educators, institutions, and technology developers looking to comprehend the evolving role of generative AI tools in higher education.

Students’ AI optimism contradicts university leaders’ concerns
Despite their slower pace of adoption, students in the U.S. see the value of AI. When asked what role AI will play in higher education, students’ top responses were positive with 46% indicating AI would enhance student engagement and interactivity and 38% believing it would be supportive in helping generate ideas. More than 1 in 3 students said AI would revolutionize teaching and learning.

However, higher ed leaders are not as bullish. Only 16% think AI will revolutionize teaching and learning, and more than one-third (35%) of university leaders worry AI will create new challenges in identifying plagiarism. In addition, almost one in five (19%) are concerned AI will exacerbate inequity and perpetuate bias in education.

To support leaders in higher education in addressing AI-related academic integrity issues, Anthology recently announced a new feature in Blackboard Learn Ultra, its learning management system. Anthology Authentic Assessment will help instructors quickly develop complex, situational prompts that require learners to apply skills, knowledge, and judgement – prompts that are more difficult for AI tools to generate.

Despite plagiarism concerns, university leaders indicate cautious optimism
Although university leaders have concerns, 45% say their use of generative AI tools will increase in the next six months. They also cited a number of ways that AI could have a significant impact on higher education and university operations. Nearly 30% of university leaders in the U.S. believe AI can assist with brainstorming and 22% see the value of using AI to draft assessment questions aligned with learning outcomes. Another possible advantage of AI include assistance in course building (17%). Almost 1 in 5 leaders believe AI can help develop enrollment or admission campaigns.

“Understanding the dynamic landscape of AI in higher education is paramount,” said Anthology Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dahlgren. “Our latest findings offer universities critical insights into the opportunities and challenges presented by AI tools. At Anthology, we are dedicated to providing solutions that empower our clients to navigate these technologies thoughtfully and leverage them to enhance the educational experience. Innovation in higher education is a journey and we are guided by our commitment to keep humanity at the helm.”

Through this research, Anthology aims to contribute to the enhancement of the higher education experience for students and universities as they work together to refine how teaching and learning take place.

In addition to the new Authentic Assessment tool, Anthology recently launched the AI Design Assistant, which helps instructors quickly create engaging learning experiences in Blackboard Learn Ultra. All product features that leverage AI are developed following Anthology’s Trustworthy AI program and commitment to responsible, lawful and ethical use of AI, which was informed with feedback from clients around the world.

Download the United States edition of AI in Higher Ed: Hype, Harm, or Help.

The Open Doors® 2023 Report on International Educational Exchange reveals this that the United States hosted more than one million (1,057,188) international students during the 2022/2023 academic year, a 12% increase compared to the previous academic year. It is the fastest growth rate in more than 40 years. Released by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE), the report provides a critical annual benchmark on the state of international educational exchange and student mobility. International students accounted for 6% of the total U.S. higher education population and contributed nearly $38 billion to the U.S. economy according, to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Lee Satterfield said: “Students from around the world have chosen the United States as the top destination for international study. International education is a vehicle that promotes peace and cross-cultural connections and provides the tools necessary to address the shared challenges of our time. It continues to shape the leaders of the future, both here at home and abroad, and we look forward to doing even more to attract international students to the United States and serve as the global leader in international education.” 

New international student enrollment near all-time high, surpasses pre-pandemic levels
Soaring beyond pre-pandemic levels to nearly record highs, the number of international students who enrolled for the first time at a U.S. college or university during the 2022/2023 academic year increased by 14% year-over-year to 298,523, building on the 80% increase in the prior year. New international students continued to study in every U.S. state and territory, and 48 states reported an increase in international students.

“Over one million international students studying in the U.S. reflects a strong rebound, with the number approaching pre-pandemic levels. This reinforces that the U.S. remains the destination of choice for international students wishing to study abroad, as it has been for more than a century,” said Allan E. Goodman, IIE CEO. “The Open Doors 2023 Report emphasizes that international education is resilient and also integral to universities and countries looking to support global innovation, collaboration, and peace.”

For the first time since 2014/15, international student enrollment across all academic levels increased in 2022/23. Graduate student enrollment increased the most, with 467,027 international students pursuing master’s, doctorate, or professional degrees (+21% year-over-year). Undergraduate student enrollment grew (+1% year-over-year) for the first time in five years.

In addition to enrolled international students, 198,793 students pursued Optional Practical Training (OPT), which supports students to gain practical work experiences after they complete their academic studies.

India reaches an all-time high in international student enrollment
China remained the top-sending country in 2022/23, with 289,526 students studying in the U.S. (-0.2% year-over-year). India, the second largest sending country, reached an all-time high of 268,923 international students in 2022/23, an increase of 35% year-over-year.

Most places of origin (23 of the top 25) increased their total number of international students in the U.S. in 2022/23. In addition, eight places of origin, including Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, India, Italy, Nepal, Pakistan, and Spain, reached all-time highs in international student numbers. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest regional growth (+18% year-over-year), and Ghana entered the top 25 places of origin for the first time with 6,468 international students. Students studied in the United States from over 200 places of origin.

Study abroad bounces back during the 2021/2022 academic year
The Open Doors 2023 Report shows that during the 2021/2022 academic year, U.S. study abroad rebounded to more than half of pre-pandemic levels, with 188,753 students pursuing opportunities abroad for academic credit. The U.S. study abroad total reflects the 2021/22 academic year when travel and study abroad programming were still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the fall and winter. The rebound signals a critical turning point in students’ ability to pursue in-person experiences abroad safely.  

“International education, both here at home and abroad, is the ultimate unifier – there is something for everyone. American students from two-year community colleges to four-year universities and beyond, across a wide-range of fields, can study abroad all over the world and bring new perspectives back to their communities,” said Satterfield, who noted her college-aged son studied abroad during the spring semester of 2023.

During the 2021/2022 academic year, nearly half of all students studied abroad in the summer (49%), and the leading destinations continued to be Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. There are positive signs of further growth, as IIE’s 2023 Spring Snapshot Survey reported that 83% of U.S. institutions expected study abroad totals to increase in 2022/23 and beyond.

Fall 2023 Snapshot
U.S. institutions report continued international student growth for Fall 2023
The Fall 2023 International Student Enrollment Snapshot shows continued momentum for international student mobility in the United States. U.S. higher education institutions reported an 8% increase in international students in Fall 2023, with growth across all academic levels and OPT. 

For all places of origin, India continues to be the highest priority for undergraduate and graduate recruitment. Seventy percent of U.S. institutions are prioritizing undergraduate outreach and 80% of U.S. institutions are prioritizing graduate outreach for students in India. Over 630 U.S. higher education institutions participated in the Fall 2023 International Student Enrollment Snapshot. 

To learn more about Open Doors, visit

To learn more about IIE’s Fall Snapshot Survey, visit:

Champlain College Online reported this month the results of a new survey exploring how perceptions of online higher education have changed over the last five years. More than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18-55 were polled about their attitudes and opinions on the value and application of online higher education. The collective results from the 10-question survey show that online degrees are perceived as more credible and more broadly accepted than in the pre-pandemic period, with 84% of adults thinking employers are more accepting of online degrees today than pre-pandemic and 72% of adults believing online education is a more reputable way to get a degree than it was five years ago.

“The COVID-19 pandemic introduced more institutions and students to the concept of remote learning than ever before,” said Chris Montagnino, Vice President of Champlain College Online. “While there are crucial differences when comparing the remote education seen during the pandemic and intentionally designed online education, high-quality online education provides a level of accessibility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness that can be life-changing for students. We’ve often talked about adult learners benefiting the most from online education options, and we’re excited to see that both our survey data and our enrollment trends reflect a growing population of younger adults pursuing online degrees and understanding their value.”

In the past five years, Champlain College Online fielded two surveys, one in the fall of 2017 with Full Circle Research and one in the summer of 2023 with Researchscape International. Both used randomized, nationally representative samples of 1,004 (2017) and 2,083 (2023) U.S. adults designed to create equivalent segments by gender and region to make meaningful comparisons across subgroups.

Key takeaways include:

  • 90% of adults find online education effective in equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their careers
  • 80% of adults would consider an online program if enrolling in undergraduate or graduate education
  • 77% of adults think online higher education is the same or better at meeting the needs of students ages 23+ when compared to on-campus higher education (a 20% increase from 2017)
  • 64% of adults believe the value of an online degree for the tuition dollar is equal to or more than the value of an on-campus degree (a 20% increase from 2017)
  • 53% of adults think online higher education is the same or better at meeting the needs of students ages 17-22 when compared to on-campus higher education (a 33% increase from 2017)

Comprehensive survey result data is available upon request. For more information about online degrees and education options, visit

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