Home > Uncategorized > No Surprise: Not as Many Foreign Students Coming to US and Colleges Suffer

No Surprise: Not as Many Foreign Students Coming to US and Colleges Suffer

January 4, 2018

Yesterday’s NYTimes featured an article by Stephanie Saul describing the negative impact of President Trump’s xenophobia on the enrollment of foreign students in US colleges and universities. She reports that many colleges across the nation are experiencing a marked decline in the enrollment of foreign students and, as a result, they are facing cutbacks similar to those encountered after the economic crisis of 2008:

At Wright State University in Ohio, the French horn and tuba professors are out. So is the accomplished swimming team.

At Kansas State, Italian classes are going the way of the Roman Empire.

And at the University of Central Missouri, The Muleskinner, the biweekly campus newspaper, is publishing online-only this year, saving $35,000 in printing costs.

Just as many universities believed that the financial wreckage left by the 2008 recession was behind them, campuses across the country have been forced to make new rounds of cuts, this time brought on, in large part, by a loss of international students.

Schools in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit — many of them non-flagship public universities that had come to rely heavily on tuition from foreign students, who generally pay more than in-state students.

Why this is occurring should be no mystery:

And since President Trump was elected, college administrators say, his rhetoric and more restrictive views on immigration have made the United States even less attractive to international students. The Trump administration is more closely scrutinizing visa applications, indefinitely banning travel from some countries and making it harder for foreign students to remain in the United States after graduation.

While government officials describe these as necessary national security measures, a number of American colleges have been casualties of the policies.

The notion that our nation would make it more difficult for upwardly mobile students from other countries to enroll in our colleges and universities is contrary to what our country stands for— or maybe I should say stood for. The Trump administration’s decision to make it difficult for foreign students to attend colleges is based on xenophobia, that decision is also compelling many colleges to make cut backs due to the loss of revenue from those students… And while liberal arts majors like me are saddened to read that one of the the college’s response to their economic challenges is cutting foreign languages, orchestral music, and a swimming program, many neoliberal and conservative commentators would see that as progress because those pursuits don’t yield high incomes or strengthen the economy. College, after all, is about getting a degree so you can earn money. The notion that education is intended to cultivate higher order thinking and a broadening of one’s perspective used to be embraced by politicians and voters no matter what their party affiliation. The real loss is not the revenue those foreign students brought, but the programs that will no longer exist.

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