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Enrollment By International Students In U.S. Colleges Plummets

Dec 02, 2020   |   NPR

"The U.S. has historically been a top destination for international students. At last count there were more than a million. They're attracted by the high-tech facilities and opportunities for research; the easy, nonhierarchical interaction between faculty and students; and the open, social e­nvironment on campuses," reports NPR.

"But this year, in a survey of more than 700 colleges and universities, the Institute of International Education found total international enrollment plummeted 16% between fall of 2019 and fall of 2020. Statistics on new international students was even grimmer — a 43% drop. Tens of thousands have deferred enrollment."

..."About half of international students come to the U.S. to study in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. A 2017 analysis found that foreign nationals, for example, make up 81% of full-time graduate students in electrical engineering, 79% in computer science and 59% in civil engineering.

"Alexis Abramson, dean of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, worries about having fewer international students in the STEM fields. 'We're all very concerned that the U.S. will lose its competitive edge,' she says. 'Engineers and scientists invent things and innovate and solve a lot of the most pressing problems facing our world.'"

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