The Disappearing American Grad Student

The New York Times

November 3, 2017

"Universities and employers are eager to tap the pool of international talent that helps them stay competitive globally," writes The New York Times, "and graduate programs have a financial incentive in attracting them: Demand from abroad is so high, administrators don’t see a need to offer as much tuition assistance.

"There’s concern, though, that the current climate around immigration could jeopardize that flow of talent. Incidents of xenophobia, hostile political rhetoric and President Trump’s attempts at banning travelers from some Muslim-majority countries may be weighing on the minds of potential applicants.

"Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, for example, saw a 30 percent decrease in international applications to its professional master’s program for this semester, according to the dean, Joseph J. Helble. Dr. Helble surveyed more than two dozen engineering deans earlier this year, and three quarters of them said they, too, had seen significant drops in international graduate applications. But enrollment, he said, was not off.

"Still, trends are not clear.

"'If there are one or two more years of comparable 20 to 30 percent decreases in international applications, we’re very concerned about our ability to conduct research and spin off and start companies,' he said. 'We’re concerned from a competitive perspective.'"

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