Dominican Republic - Country Commercial Guide
Education

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-01-14

                                  

Capital:  Santo Domingo

Population:  10,499,707 (July 2020 est.)

GDP:  $173 billion (2017 est., Purchasing Power Parity)

Currency: Dominican Pesos (DOP)

Language:  Spanish (official)

 

UNESCO Student Mobility Number:   

The Dominican Republic has 4,410 students studying abroad according to UNESCO.

CIA World Factbook:

45% of the population in Dominican Republic is under 24 years old.

OVERVIEW

The United States is a leading destination for students from the Dominican Republic. During the 2019/20 academic year, the number of students from the Dominican Republic totaled 1,379, a 11.5 percent decrease from the previous academic year (1,559 students 2018/19).[1]  

According to UNESCO data, the United States was the second largest market for Dominican students after Spain.  In 2020, UNESCO reported that the top six markets for Dominican Students were:  

  1. Spain
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Italy
  5. France
  6. Canada

SUB-SECTORS[2]

Undergraduate Education

858 students from the Dominican Republic were enrolled in undergraduate programs in the United States during the 2019/20 academic year, this is a 7.8 percent decrease from the previous academic year.

Graduate Education

280 students from the Dominican Republic were enrolled in graduate programs in the United States during the 2019/20 academic year, a 18.6 percent decrease from the previous academic year.

Non-Degree

75 students from the Dominican Republic were enrolled in non-degree programs in the United States during the 2019/20 academic year, a 8.5 percent decrease from the previous academic year.

 OPT

166 students from the Dominican Republic were enrolled in OPT programs in the United States during the 2019/20 academic year, a 17.8 percent decrease from the previous academic year.

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Exchange programs and partnerships with higher education institutions in the Dominican Republic is a common method for market entry.
  • Graduate Programs: The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Technology (MESCyT) continues to support study abroad for graduate education levels (Master’s and Doctorate).  Priority fields for MESCyT are: Engineering, Basic Sciences, Public Health, Education, Agriculture, and Animal Sciences.  MESCyT is interested in establishing articulation agreements with U.S. research universities that offer in-state tuition for students from the Dominican Republic. https://mescyt.gob.do/becas-internacionales
  • Travel and Hospitality Programs: Because of the importance of the tourism industry in the Caribbean, travel and hospitality programs are popular with students from this region.

GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS

There are some academic scholarship opportunities for Dominican students who have earned outstanding grades and scores on their ACT and/or SAT exams.  Contact individual admission offices to learn more about their scholarship opportunities for foreign students.

INICIA Educación: Provides scholarships to Dominican educators, administrators, and professionals for graduate degrees in education-related fields. https://iniciaeducacion.org

Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF): CHTAEF awards scholarships to students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the industry and the potential for future success.  The Foundation offers scholarships for Professional Development Courses and Full Time Academic Courses in all areas of Hospitality and Tourism Management for Associate and Bachelor programs.  CHTAEF scholarships average from $500 - $5,000 (USD) per academic year. All scholarships are for tuition costs only. http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/about-the-foundation/apply-for-scholarship/

Fulbright: The Fulbright Program offers grants to qualified Dominican graduate students to study at the graduate level in the United States.  Dominican scholars are eligible for Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence grants. https://eca.state.gov/fulbright/country/dominican-republic  

EducationUSA Cotonou routinely organizes public orientation sessions to inform prospective students on studies in the United States. 

EVENTS:

EducationUSA routinely organizes public orientation sessions to inform prospective students on studies in the United States. 

DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES

The following platforms are the ones that students use the most in the Dominican Republic: Zoom, Google Classroom (Meets & Handsout).  Canvas is also used and most universities and private schools have customized platforms.

The most popular social media sites for students in the DR are Instagram and TicToc. 

Students research information on any given topic using Google, Google Scholar and Wikipedia mostly. 

Students search for job opportunities in Aldaba (Aldaba.com), Google and LinkedIn. 

The most popular platform for streaming videos in the DR is YouTube and Instagram. 

The most common way to reach out to students is advertising in social media (Instagram and Facebook) and followed up with In-Bound marketing.

Every year the Ministry of Higher Education  of the Dominican Republic publishes in the local newspapers (March/April) the list of scholarship opportunities.

CHALLENGES

While the United States continues to be a popular destination for students from the Dominican Republic, there are challenges to this market:

  • Rising tuition costs at U.S. universities discourage students from choosing U.S. higher education institutions.
  • Increased competition from other English-speaking countries such as Canada, and the United Kingdom.
  • The perception that it is too difficult to obtain a U.S. student visa deters students from considering U.S. Higher Education Institutions.

RESOURCES:

  • U.S. Commercial Service – Dominican Republic - https://www.trade.gov/dominican-republic
  • U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service Global Education Team – www.trade.gov/education-industry
  • Industry and Analysis, Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services – www.trade.gov/professional-and-business-services
  • UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS) - http://uis.unesco.org/en/uis-student-flow
  • CIA World Factbook - https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook
  • Institute for International Education Open Doors 2020 - https://www.iie.org/opendoors/
  • Ministry of Higher Education of the DR - https://mescyt.gob.do/becas-internacionales
  • INICIA Educación -  https://iniciaeducacion.org
  • Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association - https://caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/about-the-foundation/apply-for-scholarship/
  • Fulbright -  https://eca.state.gov/fulbright/country/dominican-republic              

U. S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE CONTACT

Maria Elena Portorreal, Regional Senior Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service – Dominican Republic

Email: maria.portorreal@trade.gov

Phone: 809-567-7775, ext. 7220

 

[1] Source: Institute of International Education - Open Doors 2020

[2] Source: Institute for International Education Open Doors 2020