WENR, February 2018: Americas

U.S.: A Year of Travel Bans

After allowing the Trump administration’s travel ban to take effect in December, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on the third and current version of the ban. Although the current ban is less restrictive (or more specifically restrictive) than earlier versions, the net effect of the bans has already had a significant effect on both the United States reputation as a provider of international higher education and on the overall number of F1 student visas (and B1/B2 shorter term visas relevant for academic conferences) from the targeted countries.

Inside Higher Ed
February 1

Chile: Major higher education reforms secured by senators

Despite an upcoming shift to the political right as the administration of Sebastián Piñera prepares to take office on March 11, outgoing President Michelle Bachelet managed to secure major education reforms – including free higher education – with opposition party support. Funding is an issue, so the current plan only allows for the poorest 60 percent of students to receive free education.

University World News
January 31

U.S.: International Grad Students’ Interest in American Higher Ed Marks First Decline in 14 Years

A Council of Graduate Schools study shows the first decline in both international student first-time enrollment and international graduate applications since 2003. The “ebbing” was suggested from the previous year’s data, so cannot be totally pinned to the current administration’s policies. Colleges and Universities in the U.S. remain committed to welcoming international students.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
January 30

U.S.: Microcampuses allow international University of Arizona students to receive education at home

The University of Arizona has established two microcampuses – one in China and one in Cambodia – to increase access for international students who may not have access to the resources necessary for travelling to the U.S. In the fall of 2017 they projected 370 students at the microcampuses, and have plans to expand to seven campuses by fall 2018, and twenty by 2020.

Tucson News Now
January 26

U.S.: U.S. schools setting up campuses in China

14 U.S. Institutions have set up campuses on the Chinese mainland. Notable universities such as NYU, Duke, UC-Berkeley, Johns Hopkins – and soon Juilliard – have partnered with Chinese institutions to enhance academic and research excellence across a variety of disciplines.

China Daily
January 25

U.S.: Refugee Camps and Campuses: An Experiment in Humanitarian Learning

Princeton University and the University of Geneva’s InZone for higher education in emergency settings have set up a program to bridge the gap between displaced persons seeking higher education and American and European universities by creating a one-year online program to study the global past. Standard MOOC features were augmented by in-person visits with TAs from Princeton that not only provided students with access to the TAs, but valuable insights for the course itself as the students supplemented the learning materials with their real-life experiences.

Inside Higher Ed
January 24

U.S.: The Great Game for International Students

The United States has traditionally hosted the largest number of international students – over a million were enrolled for the 2016 school year. However, with current international enrollment trends in the U.S. softening due to political and economic factors, other host countries are stepping up their game. Germany, Canada, and Australia all have policies in place for attracting more students, and the U.K., with no official policy, had record numbers of international enrollments (500,000) for 2015-2016. China, currently in the top three of host countries, also has ambitious plans to attract more students.

US News and World Report
January 23

Canada: U of T to slash international PhD tuition fees

In an effort to retain (and continue to attract) top talent to their graduate programs, The University of Toronto will be rolling back their graduate tuition for foreign students to domestic levels. Since the first four years of graduate school are free at the University, this primarily affects students who may have to take extra time to finish their degree – and is therefore a boon to international students who may require that extra time.

Toronto Star
January 17

Canada: As Trump Tightens Legal Immigration, Canada Woos Tech Firms

Contrary to the highly-restricted, expensive, and uncertain new policies being proposed by the Trump administration for the legal immigration of highly-skilled workers, Canada’s “Global Skills Strategy” can permit a skilled worker visa in as quick as two-weeks. Between that and savings on taxes and salaries, many companies are looking at Canada as a home to grow their business.

New York Times
December 19

Posted in Americas, Regional News Summaries