WENR, April 2017: Middle East
Iran: Graduate Students’ Future in the U.S. Uncertain
While the second iteration of the U.S. president’s travel ban has been temporarily halted, uncertainty about future visa restrictions promises to have an impact on enrollments of students from affected countries, especially Iran. Last year over 12,000 Iranian students studied at U.S. institutions, over 3/4 at the graduate level and almost half in STEM programs. If the 90 day ban is reinstated it will impede both travel, and lengthen an already protracted visa application process, prohibiting an untold number of students from attending university in the fall. The impact extends well beyond currently admitted students to admissions offices, research quality, loss of teaching assistants in key fields, and to an overall chilling effect on international students’ interest in the United States. As it stands, there is no clear picture on if the ban will be upheld. For more insight into Iranian students’ history of mobility to the U.S., please see our 2017 article, Déjà Vu? The Rise and Fall of Iranian Student Enrollments in the U.S.
Saudi Arabia: Transnational Education on the Decline
Economic challenges and the changing profile of Saudi Arabia’s workforce may be dampening interest in the country’s international schools, which have experienced a twenty five percent decrease in student enrollments last year. An official from the National Committee for International Education at the Council of Saudi Chambers says that the “Saudization” of the work force is likely a deterrent for expatriates. Not only does this diminish job prospects, but it could also amplify a reported shortage of qualified Saudi professors to teach at international schools.
Middle East Monitor
Qatar: U.K. Gains Popularity as Study Destination
U.K. universities saw a 16 percent increase in Qatari student enrollments in the 2015/2016 academic year, according to the U.K.’s Higher Education Statistics Agency. The gulf region as a whole sent seven percent more students to the U.K. last year than the year prior.
March 9, 2017