“We are disappointed but not surprised that the number of new international students enrolling for the first time in fall 2018 is down for the third year in a row after historic increases.
We are disappointed because international students contribute greatly to this country’s intellectual and cultural vibrancy. An analysis by NAFSA: Association of International Educators has placed their economic impact at nearly $37 billion and estimated that international students support over 450,000 U.S. jobs. In addition, international students are critical to research that further supports U.S. economic growth and fuels innovation.
Although the rate of decline has slowed from 2017, the current climate on immigration continues to fuel a perception that this country is no longer a welcoming place for study and research for the world’s most talented students and scholars. We stand ready to do our part in safeguarding America’s national and economic security. But actions such as the travel ban, restrictions on some Chinese student visas, and possible future changes to the F-1 visas and the Optional Practical Training program make it difficult to maintain the United States as the destination of choice for outstanding students from across the globe, regardless of their nationality.
We call on the administration and Congress to commit to reaffirming the United States as a welcoming place for high-achieving students and scholars from across the globe, and we stand ready to help in those efforts.”
2018 Open Doors report (IIE)