Foreign Student Enrollment to American Colleges Declining

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryFor the first time since the immediate period after the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, foreign student enrollments to American colleges and universities is declining. According to the Institute of International Education, foreign student enrollment to the United States has declined by 6.6 percent during the 2017-2018 period. Most of the students come from China, India and South Korea. These three countries alone make up 56.1 percent of all the foreign students enrolled in this country. There are a number of factors playing into this. First, the perception that America is a dangerous country. The second is competition from universities in Canada and the European Union trying to lure foreign students to their academic institutions. But probably the most telling reason why a growing number of foreign students are not coming to the United States are the new visa restrictions.

U.S. President Donald Trump has put into place new student visa restrictions to make it harder to get into the United States and go to an American college. This is very bad for many American academic institutions because foreign students actually full or almost full tuition outright—providing badly needed money that American students cannot give. If this policy is part of Trump’s “America First” campaign then it has in fact put America dead last. In order for the United States to be able to compete with the rest of the world, our academic institutions must be able to attract the best and brightest minds from not only within this country but from the rest of the world. But it goes further than just restricting foreign students. The Trump administration has also put in restrictions on visas for skilled workers as well as permanent residency permits. It means that America will not only not be able to attract the brightest minds in the world but also people with skills that could greatly benefit this country. A policy like this is willfully ignorant, and only shows why the immediate past mid-term election that has put the Democrats back into some sort of power is needed to put some accountability into the U.S. government. We cannot have an immigration policy run on fear and hostility.

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