Saturday, February 23

Glut of Foreign Students Hurts U.S. Innovation

now here’s a different view…

In the old days, the U.S. program for foreign-student visas helped developing nations and brought diversity to then white-bread American campuses. Today, the F-1 program, as it is known, has become a profit center for universities and a wage-suppression tool for the technology industry.

International students are attractive to strapped colleges because they tend to pay full tuition or, in the case of public institutions, pay more than full price in out-of-state rates.

Last year, this was taken to a new level at California State University, East Bay, a public institution just south of Oakland. The school directed its master’s degree programs to admit only non-California students, including foreign students. Even before this edict, international students made up 90 percent of its computer-science master’s program.

The pursuit of foreign students by U.S. schools affects not only college access for Americans but also their careers. Back in 1989, an internal report of the National Science Foundationforecast that a large influx of F-1 doctoral students in science, technology, engineering and math -- the STEM fields -- would suppress wages. The stagnant salaries would then drive the American bachelor’s degree holders in these fields into more lucrative areas, such as business and law, after graduation, and discourage them from pursuing STEM doctorates.

i dont have special views on this but i never considered this impact. For example, in the business schools I am associated with in the UK, they are all gung ho for international students as they pay money – the full amount and are willing to study. The number of British students studying for business is falling so dramatically that its weird. The students who graduate put pressure on the job market indeed but the immigration rules are helping to squelch that pressure.

tough times indeed…

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