College presidents are worried problems will keep international students from showing up this fall

August 26, 2019

International students play a key role on American college campuses. These students bring a diverse array of viewpoints and experiences. They also often pay full tuition, which can be crucial at a time when many universities are still dealing with reduced public funding.

But the Trump administration’s hardline talk on immigration, the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, and new scrutiny for student visas might lead many admitted international students to not show up on campus for the fall semester, Penn GSE’s Alan Ruby wrote in Times Higher Education.

Alan R. Ruby, Penn GSE
Alan Ruby

“U.S. colleges should not take international students for granted,” Ruby wrote. “The latest QS survey of 75,000 prospective international students found that the most common important factor in the choice of a national destination was how ‘welcoming’ its institutions are, and the actions and policies of the current president had made 28 per cent of respondents ‘less interested’ in studying in the U.S.”

Ruby, who is also a Senior Scholar at Penn AHEAD, noted that many of the same issues will still discourage international students from studying in the U.S. next year. If college administrators want American campuses to remain welcoming places for international students, they need to be ready to take action.

Read the full piece in Times Higher Education here.