Washington International Education Group Meeting - December 5, 2017
12/5/2017 3:00 PM
12/5/2017 4:30 PM


U.S. higher education welcomes the contributions of international students to our campuses and communities, and seeks to remain the destination of choice in an increasingly competitive global market for talented students. The opportunity for international students to apply the skills and knowledge they obtain at American institutions through internships and employment is key to retaining U.S. higher education’s competitive edge.

However, there are international and domestic challenges to maintaining the U.S. position as the destination of choice for international students. International student and scholar employment—primarily through OPT and the H1B visa programs for graduate-level workers who specialize in occupations requiring technical expertise—are being perceived by some to be taking away jobs from U.S. citizens. Given recent executive orders and other Trump administration policies seeking to limit immigration from particular countries and in certain visa categories, there is a growing concern that international graduate work programs could be greatly reduced or even eliminated.

The Washington International Education Group quarterly meeting will discuss:

  • How can U.S. higher education advocate effectively in favor of existing employment benefits for international students, in order to remain a destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest?
  • What has been the impact of OPT and curricular practical training (CPT)—both on U.S. higher education institutions and the U.S. economy?
  • Is it possible to track outcomes for international graduates who obtain H1B visas?
  • In the absence of clear career opportunities for those who obtain visas to study in the United States, what would be the impact on international student enrollment?
  • What do we know about public attitudes toward international students?
Please join us for this important and timely event. 

Jill Welch

Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy, NAFSA: Association of International Educators 

Rajika Bhandari

Head of Research, Policy & Practice/Director, Center for Academic Mobility Research & Impact, Institute of International Education

​"We take seriously the need to safeguard our nation and also the need for the United States to remain the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest students, faculty, and scholars. International exchange is a core value and strength of American higher education. Moreover, our nation’s welcoming stance to scholars and scientists has benefited the U.S. through goodwill and a long history of scientific and technological advances that have been essential to the economic growth our country has experienced for decades. When they return home they are ambassadors for American values, democracy and the free market. Our nation can only maintain its global scientific and economic leadership position if it encourages those talented people to come here to study and work. America is the greatest magnet for talented people from around the world and it must remain so."

ACE letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John H. Kelly, February 3, 2017​​​​​​​​

Event Recording