Many universities and higher education professionals were stunned on election day when presidential candidate Donald Trump won the election. Throughout his campaign, Trump has made comments that caused those in higher education to worry about the future of US universities and colleges. One of the major concerns was changes that could affect international students, such as extreme vetting.
In 2016, the number of international students studying at US universities and colleges broke one million, a 40% increase over the last decade. However, many higher education professionals fear that the results of the 2016 election will deter international students from attending US universities. According to Pie News, from the 75% of surveyed international students that would actually consider studying in the US, about 57% of those students report that they are less likely to after Trump won the election.
International students have been greatly helping US universities to stay afloat. The money universities receive from international students has served as a bailout after the drop in state and local funding during the recession.
International students pay out-of-state tuition, which is often more than double the cost of in-state-tuition. The average cost for a public four-year college for out-of-state students is $23,890. That is not counting outside expenses like room and board. Some schools even have an added surcharge for international students. In addition, the money received from these students helps subsidize the costs for American students.
Trump’s presidential campaign was unorthodox. He made several statements supporting international students back in August, encouraging talented people to study and work in the US. However, he also talked about banning Muslims and the extreme vetting of visitors from countries known as “Terrorist Hotbeds.”
Some higher education professionals are fearing the worst, while others believe the possible changes may pose some challenges, but those challenges are nothing the attraction of studying in the US can’t overcome. For India, which views Trump as pro-India, his victory may not be much of a deterrent. The biggest deterrent for China would be any changes that could affect their ability to get work visas. Both China and India are the top two countries where US international students are from. About 31.5% of US international students are from China and 15.9% are from India.
At this time, however, the changes Trump is currently planning and how it will affect higher education, especially international recruitment, is still unclear. The only knowledge the universities have is that President-elect Trump’s team is currently working on various border and immigration improvements, but could not give any more details.
Despite what many higher education professionals are considering to be a disappointment, many have started accepting the change and are working harder to recruit international students. Universities plan to double their marketing efforts to abroad, while they anxiously await news regarding the changes the new presidential administration has that may affect higher education.
By: Ashleigh Cue