Joe Biden’s 20th January inauguration was a blessing for the immigrant and minority America choked under the Trump administration. It is widely acknowledged that Trump’s policies were divisive, to say the least, and harmful at worst. His policies regarding immigration came under intense scrutiny.
Apart from the infamous travel bans, the Trump administration also deregulated student-body loans, was unconcerned with foreign student visas and sued various Ivy League universities over their admission of systemic suppression and racism. Trump’s policies prompted 50 deans of U.S. business colleges and universities to sign an open letter wanting changes in the immigration policy.
However, with Biden’s inauguration, it is expected that international collaboration and the global education sector will change and grow. It is anticipated that international students will consider the U.S. a top priority for university education and the U.K., Australia, and Canada.
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Why Do People believe that Biden Will Bring About A Change In Immigration?
Joe Biden represents the U.S. Democratic party, and his entire political campaign had been about bringing about positive changes in terms of immigration, healthcare, education, and more. One of the first tasks that Biden accomplished in office was making a task force that would unite the families who were separated due to Trump’s brutal and inhumane immigration policies.
Biden has also promised to provide equal opportunity regardless of ethnicity, identity, faith, disability, etc. Biden even praised his vice-president Kamala Harris by saying that she is the country’s “first woman, first African American woman, the first woman of South Asian descent, and the first daughter of immigrants ever to be elected to the national office…”
In a similar vein, Biden’s campaign website mentions this particular paragraph on immigration and education. It says:
“(Biden) will increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration based on macroeconomic conditions and exempt from any recent cap graduates of Ph.D. programs in STEM fields. And, he will support first reforming the temporary visa system for high-skill, specialty jobs to protect wages and workers, then expanding the number of visas offered and eliminating the limits on employment-based green cards by country …”
Apart from Biden, other dignitaries like Miriam Feldblum, the present executive director of President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, has requested a more aggressive education plan to scale back the havoc caused by Trump’s reign. She also asked for a withdrawal of policies restricting foreign scholars and students, like their status, H-1B visa norms, and stay duration.
Why Can Business Schools Take A Breather?
While the entire education sector has suffered due to the restrictions placed on international students, business schools have been affected more. This is because they rely heavily on the global influx of students and scholars. According to a study done by Bloomberg Businessweek, international students consisted of 29.5% of the August/September class at the top 20 elite U.S. schools. Tragically, these numbers were down from 2018’s 34.9%.
To further accentuate this downfall, the director of the Graduate Management Admission Council’s Industry Insights & Research Communications, Rahul Choudaha, says that the percentage of international students who applied for full-time US MBA programs in 2020 was standing at 35%. These numbers were down from 2016’s 50% applications.
Stacy Blackman Consulting’s Stacy Blackman herself says that “…there was a marked decrease in some specific cohorts of internationals, such as Indian nationals, many of whom shifted their MBA plans to Europe directly because of the U.S. political and immigration climate under Trump.”
These sentiments persist as many are skeptical of actual changes after witnessing the Trump administration’s horrors and the close-call of the 2020 elections between Biden and Trump.
How Can Biden Lure Back International Students?
The first step is rebranding, says DeCapua, the Global Alliance for International Student Advancement founder. He says that reversing the ban on Muslim nations will help. As will not putting a barrier on the stay duration.
Dean Douglas Shackleford of the University of North Carolina’s Flagler School of Business says that if there is brand erosion, they will roll out a red carpet to welcome international students. If the downward trend doesn’t reverse upward, then a roll-out carpet with a message might lure back people international students.
It is also expected that Biden will reissue H-1B visas once Biden rolls back the suspension under Trump’s term. Research director Stephen Taylor, at the admissions consultancy of Liaison International, summarizes the positive feeling under the Biden administration thoroughly. He says:
“A Biden administration would show at least an attempt at the opposite Trump has done. [This] would be to a reconciliation process trying to pull apart some of these executive orders, and trying to slow and then stop the pandemic so businesses can truly continue to open.”
What Are The Prospects Of Getting Jobs After Education Under Biden Presidency?
Coronavirus has caused the entire economic world to stand still. It is affecting employment rates and opportunities a lot. But it is believed that in a post-covid world, the current administration will revive the economy and restore people’s faith in various post-business school job opportunities.
The initial analysis shows a positive trend with the hope of more than 18 million jobs being created under Biden by 2022. It is also expected that the unemployment rate will lessen by just 4%.
Foreign Business school students graduating in this pandemic don’t need to worry. In a 2020 Graduate Management Admission Council’s Corporate Recruiters Survey, almost 90% of recruiters said they were planning to hire various MBA graduates in 2021. As for salaries, MBA graduates can still earn in the six figures. The political upheaval hasn’t affected the inherent value of a business master’s or MBA degree in the country. So they will be able to pay back their program loans.
Overall, it is expected that through attitude and policy changes, Biden will show the way towards a more accepting and more positive American future that also includes international students.