In a development that may not please the incumbent Donald Trump-led US Government, a research report–based on a survey of roughly 500 US campuses by the US Institute of International Education—claims that since Trump stormed to power, the US various universities have witnessed a visible decline in the figure of the students, especially from India.
As per the report, fewer overseas students registered with the different American universities this fall, in the first admissions since the change of the administration, even while some educationists hint that there’s a connection with the fears related to the racial prejudice in a new America. In the context of the drop in the number of the students from India, the demonetization also has been mulled over and referred to as a possible factor.
Reportedly, this year’s arrival of global students was 7% less, vis-à-vis the previous year’s, with 45% of campuses across the US recording drops. Allegedly, it’s a mix of factors. Fears around the travel bar had much to do with the anxieties involving personal security based on some not-too-positive developments concerning international students, and universal concern about their safety.
Reportedly, the previous year’s (2016-17) registration by global students had already nose-dived from the preceding year’s, by 3.3%, showing the first such drop since counting started 12 years previously.
These 2016-17 Open Door figures, made available officially, were complemented with a report that credited the decline somewhat to the Saudi Arabian & Brazilian administrations’ cutting down of their large global scholarship schemes.
A new reason referred to was the fresh rivalry from Canada, the UK, Australia, and continental Europe. However, it was the additional, and louder, drop in the number of international student admissions this September—whose particulars haven’t been made available officially—that resulted in the biggest anxiety.
Allegedly, the drift signals a concern for some small universities that depend on the money from the overseas students, who pumped in 39 billion Dollars into the national economy during the year gone by, via what they spent on tuition, board and accommodations, and living. Reportedly, close to 33% of the overseas students get the bulk of their moneys from sources outside the nation–from family, sponsors, home universities and home administrations.
At the University of Iowa, international registration this fall was 3,564; it was 4,100 in 2015, principally because of the fewer registrations by the students from China. As if not to be left behind, the University of Central Missouri also witnessed a sharp decline, though in its case, it was in the number of the Indian students. While during the fall of 2016, the university boasted of 2,638 international students, it has only 944 students this fall.
While the number of the students arriving from India allegedly declined partially due to a currency crisis in the nation, it was also because of the widespread fears related to the travel ban imposed by the Trump administration on the Muslim nations. Despite the fact that India did not find a mention on that list, several of the university’s Indian students were Muslims.
Potential students from India, interviewed soon after the previous year’s presidential poll, had spoken about their fears involving the racial atmosphere in the US–anxieties that may have been intensified, post the February shooting of an engineer from India, in a bar in the suburban Kansas City.
Allegedly, the trend may be due to the bad news related to immigration and visa checks under the new presidency. Apart from this, several countries from Europe, such as Sweden, Germany, and France, are providing excellent courses in English–either free of cost or at very reasonable costs.
On the positive side, the 3.3% fall in the new foreign students in 2016-17 reportedly did not stop the total population of the overseas students in the US increasing by 3.4% that year, courtesy those who stayed back, in the wake of successfully concluding their degrees, to participate in the different internship-kind schemes.