Thursday, March 23, 2006

homeland security growing up

politics: an interesting study published in the NYT called Graduate School Applications from Foreigners Rise. Alan Finder writes:

The number of foreign students who applied to graduate programs in American universities during the current academic year increased by 11 percent from the year before, according to a survey to be released today. That growth reverses two years of decline that occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The survey, by the Council of Graduate Schools, which represents more than 450 universities, found that despite the increase, the number of applications remained lower than in the years before 2003. The number of foreign students applying declined by 28 percent in 2003-4, a previous survey by the group showed, and by an additional 5 percent in the following academic year.

i'm encouraged by this. could the department of homeland security be getting a bit of a clue? after 9/11, some students found it difficult to return to the states after returning home from the holidays. i have friends who were so scared they wouldn't be allowed back in, that they forewent their annual holiday trips home. i know of others who chose to study in australia or europe due to the bad reputation the u.s. had developed.

foreign graduate students are a key part of the high tech backbone of the american economy. relatively few americans will get an MS or PhD in technical disciplines and hence, are a minority in advanced techology industries which ultimately form main stream tech industries. i tend to work in advanced r&d, and can testify that native born americans are a minority. in fact, i am one of 2 on a team of ten, and neither of us have native born parents. anyway, finder continues:

The council suggested that there were several reasons for the turnaround. After the attacks of 2001, foreign students, particularly those in scientific and technical fields, experienced trouble obtaining visas. But recent changes in government policy, though continuing to emphasize security, have made it considerably easier.

"There's no question that both Homeland Security and the Department of State do play a role in this turnaround," Debra W. Stewart, the council's president, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

1 comment:

metalhead said...

Things will get much worse if there's another attack by Al Qaeda.

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