WENR, April 2018: Americas

Free tuition in Chile ‘fails to improve access for poor’

Chile continues to struggle with its “well-intentioned” 2016 policy to provide free higher education to students from the lower 60 percent of income distribution (as of 2018). Part of the problem appears to be that most of the program’s available funding is being depleted by middle-class students and leaving the very poor without access. Many of the the countries for-profit and private institutions have also declined to participate in the program, furthering the divide.

Times Higher Education
March 24

U.S.: Congress rejects much of Betsy DeVos’s agenda in spending bill

For the second year in a row, Congress has disregarded many of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s proposals in their USD $1.3 trillion budget. Devos had asked for a 13 percent reduction in overall funding and cuts to many programs aimed at needy youth, low-income college students, and cuts to the Office for Civil Rights. Instead, Congress increased the Education budget by USD $3.9 billion, while ignoring her “choice-friendly” and private school voucher provisions.

Washington Post
March 22

US state funding in flux: universities’ strategies for survival

State funding for higher education has been highly volatile for the past decade, with significant decreases since the 2008 financial crisis. During the 2017-2018 school year state funding grew by about 1.6% across the country, with tremendous variation from state to state. North Dakota, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and West Virginia are all taking a variety of measures to make up for the loss revenue, from general belt-tightening, energy conservation, and outsourcing to increasing enrollment, tuition, and fees.

Times Higher Education
March 18

Will U.S. Restrict Visas for Chinese Students?

The White House is considering measures, ostensibly to punish China for violating  intellectual property laws, that will limit the number of work and study visas available to Chinese citizens. This could have very negative effects for Colleges and Universities that rely on international students for revenue, since China is the sending country for almost a third of international students in the U.S.

Inside Higher Ed
March 16

Canada: provinces adopt ‘Study & Stay’ program

“Study and Stay,” a pilot program designed to assist international students with integration during and after schooling in Nova Scotia, has now been expanded to the neighboring Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Historically the region has had adequate immigration levels, but not as much retention of immigrants. Authorities expect additional emphasis on integration will help attract and retain young international talent.

The PIE News
March 12

U.S.: Visas Issued to Foreign Students Fall, Partly Due to Trump Immigration Policy

Immigration lawyers and school officials say the increased scrutiny of Trump administration policies are a major driver behind the steep reduction in student visas. The 393,573 F-1 visas issued in 2017 are down 40% from the 2015 peak. Part of the steep decline can be attributed a change in the way visas from China are handled – they can be issued for 5 year terms as of 2014 – though the second highest sending country, India, dropped 28% over that period. The State Department’s “renewed emphasis” on students’ plans after graduation – whether they truly plan to go back to their home country – is providing the impetus for the increased scrutiny.

Wall Street Journal
March 11

Children Of Immigrants Are Top U.S. High School Science Performers

33 of 40 finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search  for high school students were the children of immigrants – 30 of those 40 had a parent who had entered the U.S. on H-1B visas on their pathway to citizenship. This number is substantially up from the 2004 tally of 24 of 40 finalists for the prize – often referred to as the “Junior Nobel Prize.’

March 11

Loss of Global Prestige – The United States’ appeal as a study-abroad destination may be waning

About a third of prospective international students are less interested in studying in the U.S. due to the current political environment, and 70% of those students cite President Trump as factor in that detachment. Rising tuition costs and increasing competition in a flattening market are also encouraging those prospective students to look elsewhere.

Chronicle of Higher Education
March 4

Nearly 20 Percent Drop in Indian Students Coming to U.S. for Computer Science, Engineering Grad Programs: National Science Board

After multiple years of enrollment growth, the number of Indian students seeking STEM degrees in the U.S. declined by 19.2% in 2017. Overall numbers from India were not much better, showing a 17.7% decline in degree-seeking students, from 117,540 in 2016 to 96,700 last year. Current U.S. government policy – especially the limiting of H-1B Visas, which are normally sought by graduates who would like to stay and work in the U.S. – appears to be the chief culprit in the decline.

India West
March 5

Canada’s booming intled industry in figures

Driven in part by increasingly nativity and nationalist policies elsewhere, Canada’s pro-immigration policies and pro-integration programs have helped the country beat it’s 2022 international enrollment goals 5 years early. Canada hosted 495,000 international students in 2017, with most of those students favoring Ontario, British Columbia, and Ottawa as destination provinces. While the largest concentration of international students hail from China, other countries – India, Vietnam, Iran, Bangladesh, and Columbia – showed tremendous amounts of growth in enrollment.

PIE News
March 2