US varsities losing foreign students

<p>An article which looks... kinda? encouraging. Woo! Found it in today's papers.</p>

<p>Boston - A NEW survey indicates the number of foreign graduate students enrolling for the first time at American universities is down 6 per cent this year - the third straight decline after a decade of growth.</p>

<p>Educators worry the trend is eroding America's position as a world leader in higher education. </p>

<p>The fall was not as steep as feared, considering applications have been down 32 per cent.</p>

<p>American universities staved off a comparable decline in enrolment by admitting a higher percentage of students and persuading more admitted students to enrol. </p>

<p>But the results of the survey of 122 member institutions by the Council of Graduate Schools are still alarming educators.</p>

<p>American universities are highly dependent on foreign students for teaching and research help, particularly in the sciences and in engineering, a field in which foreigners comprise 50 per cent of graduate enrolment. </p>

<p>'If you took them out of the system, we would not be at the same point we are in many of our endeavours - scientific endeavours and also economic growth,' said the council's director of research and policy analysis, Mr Heath Brown.</p>

<p>And students who return home also advance American interests by bringing to leadership positions a better understanding of the United States, he said. </p>

<p>More than two-thirds of schools reported some decline. The steepest drops were in business (12 per cent), sciences/agriculture (10 percent) and engineering (8 per cent).</p>

<p>Experts believe a major factor is the difficulty - or at least perceived difficulty - of getting student visas under tightened US immigration policies. Other factors include anti-Americanism abroad and increasing competitiveness from universities in India, China and Europe. </p>

<p>The State Department has tried to streamline the student visa application process, and some universities have taken matters into their own hands, stepping up efforts to provide help for foreign students.</p>

<p>The University of Texas, one of the nation's largest enrollers of foreign students, recently said it would reimburse international students the US$100 (S$166) fee they must pay to obtain a student visa. </p>

<p>Governments in countries such as Britain and Australia are working successfully to lure students who might otherwise come to America, said the director of the school's international office, Mr Jerry Wilcox. </p>

<p>'My sense is over time we'll come back...there are a lot of things working against it right now.' -- ASSOCIATED PRESS</p>

<p>But this is for graduate studies only right? Bummer.</p>

<p>But I'll just pretend it applies to undergraduate too. Makes me feel better. :)</p>

<p>I think its more to do with strict immigration stuff these days.</p>

<p>absolutelt: Yeah, graduate. That's what I did too! It gives me some smidgen of hope, however small. :P</p>