The President of Association of American Colleges and Universities, Lynn Pasquerella, said that there had been a noticeable decline in the enrolment of international students in the last few years. According to the reports, the figures reveal that 14% of lesser students have turned up to study in the US from other nations.
This trend is visible throughout the US mostly in Midwest, rural and south campuses are where the numbers have declined steeply, he said. The experts say that the decline in the number of international students coincides with the time when President Donald came to power.
There are many policies set by the Trump administration that have deleteriously obstructed international enrolment of students. Undoubtedly, President Donald Trump’s order to ban international students from specific countries has created an atmosphere of distress, distrust and cynicism.
Moreover, detaining international students in the airports and stopping them from coming to the US on visa grounds has further averted the students from picking US universities for further studies, said Pasquerella.
The University of Missouri has experienced a drop of 35% in the count of international students in the last five years. MU had enrolled 2,505 international students in 2015, but the number has gone down to 1,632 currently. However, MU is not the only college that has experienced this dip.
The MU administration said that when policies such as these are put into effect, it directly impacts the college and its students. The Director of the Office of International Admissions at MU, Ryan Griffin said that when there was a Muslim ban imposed several Muslim students of the college suffered especially those that belonged to countries that were listed as ‘no longer eligible for visas’. Visas are increasingly being denied to international students, Griffin added.
Since 2010 the number of international students enrolled in MU for undergraduate courses was rising continuously, and in the year 2015, this number was the highest.
The highest decline has been in the number of Chinese students. Not only do the Chinese students form a significant part of the MU’s international students, but their numbers are highest in terms of international students of the US as a whole. There were 738 Chinese students in 2015 and currently this number is just 323 – a decline of 56%.
Experts say that though all the international students have undergone tighter policies, the scrutiny is at its most robust for Chinese students.
Pasquerella said that all the universities had been asked to intensify the scrutiny for the Chinese students and screen their activities on the campus.
Such as to keep an eye on the information they have access to, what they are doing on their computer systems and what they are going through in the library.
Moreover, the market for international schooling has become competitive as the other countries are bettering their enrolling efforts. The Deputy Director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, Melanie Gottlieb, said that the US was always a leader in terms of enrolling international students in their universities.
Still, the other countries too seemed to have stepped up in the game and have begun accepting more overseas students. Another significant reason for the reduced number of international students is the fear of gun violence.
A Chinese student from MU, Jiarui Han, said that her parents were always worried because shootings incidents are frequently happening in the US these days. Although it is the policies of the US that are impacting the enrolment of international students, many students say they are finding a sudden change in immigration in the US. Most of them said that they feel, ‘they don’t belong here.’
Many experts are encouraging the universities to fight against these policies that are a threat to the diversity that the international students bring along with them to the college campus communities.
Pasquerall says that when global perceptions are restricted because of social conditions, policies and practices, the mission of the universities and colleges is demoralized.
Though politics and policies are still imposed, MU is taking its recruitment efforts to other countries such as Vietnam and India so they can familiarize themselves with the shifting market.