International student enrollments at US universities and colleges have declined for the second year in succession, with some analysts blaming the decrease on protectionist policies of the Donald Trump administration.
The number of newly arriving foreign students decreased by about 7% to around 271,000, the lowest levels since 2013, according to official data published this month.
The United States has long been a popular destination for students from wealthy families around the world and they have added billions of dollars in revenue to the country’s GDP.
With the current US administration continuously tightening immigration policies as part of President Trump’s ‘Buy American and Hire American’ executive order signed in April 2017, many international students are no longer seeing US as a better destination for higher studies.
The rising cost of education and the current social and political climate are also the factors contributing to the decrease.
Meanwhile, Canada and Australia have relaxed their immigration laws, presenting themselves as more liberal alternative to the US. Both of them are seeing a considerable increase in foreign students. Canada reported a 20% jump in 2017, while Australia saw a 12% rise.
China and India have, however, continued to send a large number of students to the US, but there has been a sharp decline in the number of students coming from Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Mexico.
Chinese students wanting to study science, technology, and maths consider US as the perfect destination. With the trade war between the US and China razing, even the number of Chinese students arrival might decline, say analysts.