Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Kevin asked an important question earlier today: will international students still come to the United States?
Back in 2018, I looked at the question of whether international students would come to the U.S. following the election of President Trump. Here are a few key snippets:
A March 2016 survey of 40,000 prospective international students in 118 countries revealed that 60% said they would be less likely to study in the United States if Trump were elected.
After Trump’s election, concerns about his effect on international student enrollment grew. Prospective international students and their parents indicated “second thoughts” about pursuing education stateside. To at least some, the United States was suddenly “risky” with “too many uncertainties.” One survey of international students found about a third had a decreased interest in studying in the United States “due to the current political climate.” Interestingly, a February 2017 survey of overseas “education agents,” individuals who advise international students about where to apply, indicated that the travel ban “permanently damaged” how 11% of recruiters saw the United States, and that it had “temporarily dampened” the opinion of another 44% of recruiters. That survey is particularly significant because recruiters have “a lot of sway… They can convince people to go to a country or not.” More than half of the recruiters reported that students had concerns about the travel ban.
Nearly half of U.S. institutions saw drops in applications received from international students in 2017. Those reduced applications then turned into reduced admissions, with 46% of graduate deans reporting “substantial downward changes in admission yields for international students,” which is to say a reduction in the number of admitted students who choose to enroll. Some of the declines were “modest to moderate” while others were “more substantial.” In Fall 2017, U.S. universities and colleges experienced a “flattening” in the overall number of enrolled international students as well as an average decrease of 7% in the number of newly enrolled international students.
These statistics reflect the fears of potential students and their families BEFORE the Trump Administration took any action directly against international students. How much more extreme (and justified) will the reaction be against pursuing studies stateside now? Faced with a choice, wouldn't a rational student with options consider pursuing schooling in Canada or another more immigrant-friendly nation?
The government's most recent efforts against international students lasted just 8 days. I fear the effects will be felt nationwide much longer.