A drop in international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities will harm America's standing in the world and our most competitive industries, Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University, said.
In a commentary published by The Chicago Tribune, McRobbie said the number of international students declined last year for the first time in more than a decade.
Greater global competition for international students, harmful new U.S. immigration policies, and harsh anti-foreigner rhetoric contributed to the decline.
McRobbie said international students:
- Enrich the campuses and communities they serve
- Bring valuable cultural perspectives to our classrooms and campuses
- Expose U.S. students to new ideas helping them to reflect on the increasingly diverse compositions of our communities.
- Contribute to an educational environment that prepares our students to be “globally ready” for an interconnected and competitive future.
There are also economic benefits to the schools, the communities they serve, and the nation.
"During the 2016-17 academic year, the more than 1 million students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed nearly $37 billion and supported more than 450,000 jobs to the U.S. economy, making higher education one of the major positive contributors to the U.S. trade balance," McRobbie said.