May 5, 2017

Trump's anti-foreigner policies hurting US universities

Governing - Joel Glassman has been running the international studies program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis for more than 25 years. His office is crammed with photos and souvenirs from trips to distant countries such as Oman and Indonesia. In March, Glassman made his first visit to India. He didn’t like what he heard. All the people there could talk about, at least to a visiting American, was the February shooting in Olathe, Kan., of two Indians by a white man who allegedly had yelled, “Get out of my country!”

“It was on the front page of the newspaper every day I was there,” Glassman says. “People talked about it relentlessly and were outraged about it.”

Incidents like that, and anti-immigration rhetoric and policies coming out of the Trump administration, have made Glassman’s job recruiting internationally much harder. That’s a political problem -- and a fiscal one. In an era when practically every state has cut financial support for higher education, public colleges and universities from the University of Washington to the University of Florida have come to depend on the money international students bring in. The students often pay double or triple the tuition of in-state students, with a surcharge sometimes tacked on.

The number of international students on American campuses has exploded over the past decade. During the 2015-2016 school year, their numbers exceeded 1 million for the first time, representing an 85 percent jump from a decade earlier. University officials talk about the importance of diversity and the value of exposing American students to international peers in an era of globalization.

No comments: