Survey: Fewer foreign students coming to United States for second year in row

Survey: Fewer foreign students coming to United States for second year in row

The number of international students entering U.S. colleges and universities has fallen for the second year in a row, a nonprofit group said on Tuesday, amid efforts by the Trump administration to tighten restrictions on foreigners studying in the United State, Reuters reports.

New enrollments for the 2017-18 school year slumped 6.6 percent compared with the previous year, according to an annual survey released by the Institute of International Education. That follows a 3.3 percent decline in new international students tallied in the 2016-17 academic year.

Several factors are driving the decrease. Visa and immigration policy changes by the Trump administration have deterred some international students from enrolling, college administrators and immigration analysts said.

A strong dollar has made U.S. college tuition relatively more expensive, Canadian and European universities are competing fiercely for the same students and headlines about mass shootings also may have deterred some students, said Allan Goodman, president of IIE.

“Everything matters from safety, to cost, to perhaps perceptions of visa policy,” Goodman said. “We’re not hearing that students feel they can’t come here. We’re hearing that they have choices. We’re hearing that there’s competition from other countries.”

International students have become an important funding source for American colleges as traditional revenue sources, such as state funding, come under pressure. Most undergraduate foreign students do not qualify for need-based financial aid and must pay close to full tuition and fees to attend U.S. schools.

Similar to previous years, the largest numbers of students came from China, India and South Korea, which together made up 56.1 percent of all international students.

IIE did not track new international student numbers before the 2004-05 school year, but Goodman said the recent declines in new enrollments were comparable to the period after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The annual survey of foreign-student enrollment is funded by the U.S. State Department.

Some immigration policy experts and college administrators attribute the decline to the Trump administration’s drive to restrict immigration and an overall sense of a U.S. political climate that is hostile to immigrants and foreigners.

“It is not a welcoming environment,” said Doug Rand, a former White House official working on immigration issues during the Obama administration.

He noted that Trump has moved to restrict the issuance of skilled-worker visas and permanent residency, which many incoming students may apply for in the future.

“It’s an act of willful ignorance to suggest that our immigration policies aren’t having a direct impact on foreign student enrollment,” Rand said.

Caroline Casagrande, a State Department official, said the “flattening” in international student enrollments began with the 2015-2016 year, prior to the start of the Trump administration. That year, new enrollments still increased by 2.4 percent compared with the prior year.

“The U.S. Department of State is committed to facilitating the legitimate travel to the United States of individuals who want to study in U.S. academic institutions,” Casagrande said during a phone call with reporters. “It’s quite frankly unwarranted to say that it is completely the result of a political environment.”

Cary Jensen, assistant vice provost for international advocacy and engagement at the University of Rochester in New York, said international students had been receiving more scrutiny from the U.S. government since the Sept. 11 attacks, but that “this last year and a half has just taken it to another level.”

Jensen said a major issue facing American universities was the lack of clarity surrounding the Trump administration’s policies, in part due to lengthy court battles over policies like Trump’s travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries.

“That has kind of been the worst part of this, is the uncertainty,” Jensen said. “That breeds fear and people tend to overreact.”

The administration is pursuing concrete steps to restrict visa policy regarding international students. Last month, it said it would seek to establish a fixed maximum period of stay for international students. Students currently can stay for an indefinite duration of study, and exchange advocates worry such a change would make it harder to recruit students and limit their flexibility once they are in the country.

In August, the administration changed the way international and exchange visitors are found to accrue “unlawful presence,” a violation that could result in being barred from the country for up to 10 years. Several colleges sued over the change, arguing it would cause the “banishment of untold numbers of international students and exchange visitors acting in good faith.”

The total number of new international students in the United States in 2017-2018 grew by 1.5 percent to a record high of nearly 1.1 million, but it was the smallest year-over-year increase since 2005. The growth in total enrollment was driven by a nearly 16 percent increase in the number of students opting to remain in the United States after finishing their studies for short-term work known as “optional practical training.”

Azerbaijani oil prices reaching $49 per barrel
Azerbaijani oil prices reaching $49 per barrel
Iranian currency rates for November 28
Iranian currency rates for November 28
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia opens tender for equipment modernization
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia opens tender for equipment modernization
Loading Bars
Latest
Assistant to Azerbaijani president, Karabakh football club to visit Tartar, Aghdam cities
Azerbaijani oil prices reaching $49 per barrel
Tesla could widen release of 'self-driving' software in two weeks
Iranian currency rates for November 28
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia opens tender for equipment modernization
Turkish municipality to rent vehicles via tender
Turkmenistan, EU discuss prospects for developing bilateral contacts
Iran seeks to cooperate in auto sector with foreign countries
Azerbaijani flag raised in liberated Kalbajar city after 27 years (VIDEO)
OPEC+ likely to roll over its current production cut at least until end-March 2021
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll nears 172,000
826 new coronavirus cases in 24 hrs, total at 130,039
Georgian Poti FIZ plans to implement production of high-tech electrical devices in 2021
Chinese mainland reports 6 new imported COVID-19 cases
British, Irish prime ministers discuss EU trade negotiations
Kazakhstan increases exports to Georgia multifold despite COVID-19
France reports 957 new COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations down
76 more coronavirus patients die in Moscow in past day
OPEC+ monitoring committee postpones meeting on oil production cuts deal in 2021 to Sunday
Brexit goes down to the wire: EU and UK say big differences remain
Iran expected to reduce potato production
Azerbaijan national team won silver and bronze medals at 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Diesel fuel production down in Azerbaijan
Кazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender to buy batteries
Export of grain and legumes by Turkey to Iran down
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Kazakhstan has high hopes for homegrown COVID-19 vaccine - Minister
Georgia expect stabilization of pandemic with the expansion of restrictions
Iraq reports 2,545 new COVID-19 cases, 547,215 in total
Resolution adopted by French Senate is gross violation of int'l law - Honorary Member of French Parliament
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
76 Iranian professors among world top 2% scientists
Monetary policy in Georgia remains tightest among CIS - Renaissance Capital
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan take part in XVIII meeting of CSTO ICMEC
Britain records 16,022 new coronavirus cases, 521 new deaths
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine
Turkish political parties condemn French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
World Maritime University, Georgia aim to develop maritime education, capacity-building activities
Georgia makes giant strides in transposition of energy efficiency acquis
Cash receipts from Azerbaijan to Georgia increases
Number of debit cards in Azerbaijan increases
Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Georgia to subsidize wheat flour price
IAEA to implement multiple projects in Georgia
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Percentage of problem loans in Azerbaijan down
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for vehicles provision
Tree-planting campaign continues in Azerbaijan's Gubadli (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan raises commercial gas production
COVID-related quarantine may be strengthened in Kazakhstan in December
German Bundestag welcoming cessation of hostilities in Karabakh for sustainable peace
Spain names main Turkmen sectors of its interest
Iran to follow FATF-related bills
French Development Agency puts emphasis on increasing solar and wind capacity integration in Georgia
Putin to hold annual press conference via video link on December 17
Share of Austria in total import of Azerbaijan increases
Kazakhstan, Canada discuss prospects for agriculture co-op
Iranian Aras Free Trade Zone reveals its trade surplus
Modernization of primary gas treatment unit carried out at Uzbek oil field
Ambassador of Mexico meets with Azerbaijani Acting Minister of Culture
Azerbaijan supplying drinking water to liberated Shusha city (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan consistently works to strengthen regional cooperation - MFA
Azerbaijan's import of chemical products from Turkey up
Conflicts, external aggression threaten peace, security - Azerbaijani FM (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Economy receives Qatari ambassador (PHOTO)
Iran's industrial cities work at minimum capacity
U.S. agency opens probe into 115,000 Tesla vehicles over suspension issue
Turkey discloses Istanbul Airport's ten-month passenger traffic volume
Japan ruling party proposal backs assistance for COVID-hit airlines
Iran's Social Security Organization to forgive insurance fines of employers
Elbit Systems wins Spanish Army radio deal
Putin meets RSC members to discuss Russian peacekeepers' activities in Karabakh
Uzbek metallurgical plant switches to int’l financial reporting standards
New company established in Azerbaijan's Sumgayit city
Iran to close public offices amid COVID-19
Volume of industrial lending in Azerbaijan grows
Azerbaijani 'Maestro Niyazi' dry-cargo ship repaired and tested
France-24 TV channel broadcasts reportage about liberated Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Small state enterprises, vehicles to be auctioned in Azerbaijan
Uzbek Ministry of Finance eyes setting excise tax on sugar imports
New electronic services to be introduced in Turkmenistan's banking system
Oil bitumen imports decrease to Georgia
10M2020 cargo, passenger traffic in Turkish Esenboga Airport drops
Discovery of Turkmen scientists expected to make unique contribution to healthcare system on global scale
Azerbaijan detects 3,712 new COVID-19 cases, 1,359 recoveries
World to need at least 1.1 trillion barrels of hydrocarbons over next 20 years
Kazakhstan decreases crude petroleum oil supplies to Netherlands
Number of construction enterprises, organizations in Uzbekistan up
Central Bank of Azerbaijan reveals data on population's deposits
Georgia sees decrease in import of aviation fuel
Oil & gas industry is not at risk of being starved of capital
Nearly half of bank deposits in Azerbaijan made in foreign currency, says CBA
Turkmen Health Ministry opens tender for medical supplies purchase
Iran Parliament speaker obliges gov't to implement “People's Livelihood Protection Act” as soon as possible
Luxury hotels to be created in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Azerenerji OJSC implementing essential project in Karabakh, adjacent districts
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom sees threefold increase in profits
Turkey's VP talks current defense-related projects
All news