University of Pennsylvania, Arizona State, and University of Missouri all grapple with their international student community this week

Universities across the country are realizing how detrimental new immigration policies have been on international faculty, student and staff. Two recent articles showcase that there has been significant change in Arizona and the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. The last talks about how the international community rallied around an assaulted student at University of Missouri.


Arizona State University hits decline in international students for the first time in a decade — but maybe not because of Trump, experts say 


The Arizona Central reported that since 2016, the number of international students admitted in by Arizona State University has decreased by a total of 6 percent. The reporters said that this was the first time ASU’s international student population decreased in a decade. 

The article instead purports the cause to “foreign education policy changes, geopolitics and increasing competition” instead of Trump’s administration. It said that “students now in the United States began planning for an international education before Trump took office.” 

University of Arizona also saw a drop and all countries that regularly send its students —China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico — all decreased last year. 

They also pointed to how Brazil faced a decline years before the Trump administration merely because of a loss of a scholarship program held there to study in the United States. 

The article said that the rocky relationship between China and the U.S., as well as a higher appeal of other foreign institutions in the U.K. and Australia could affect numbers. 

The report investigated how ASU specifically deals with foreign students. They said that  the school made a point to show that the school met with 170 Middle-Eastern students after Trump’s travel ban.


University of Pennsylvania faculty warn the consequences of declining international students for its campus


The University of Pennsylvania’s official site, Penn Today, also released a lengthy article that went in depth about how these policies specifically affects its students. The article revealed that “15 students were unable to come to Penn to start their studies, seven of whom were returning students.” This caused alarm among the associate vice provost for Global Initiatives, Amy Gadsden. The article stated that many were Chinese nationals who studied engineering. China is one of biggest funnels of international students to American universities, according to the Institute of International Education report; they accounted for 34.4 percent of total international student origin in 2018. 

Gadsden said that the Trump administration requires more evidence to issue H1-B work visas and F-1 visas, which international students need to study. She also said that in her experience it can also take up to six times longer to process these visas once they are filed. Optional practical training time also increased to a processing time of five months, despite the fact that students can only petition for it three months in advance. Gadsden said that this could create issues for recent graduates who cannot leave the country but are without legal work or student visas that keep them here. 

The Penn Today article also embedded ways that the school tries to help students orient themselves on campus once they get here: they offer welcome programs where groups from Penn travel to New Delhi and Beijing. 


University of Missouri rallies community in light of international student assault


The Daily Missourian reported how the international community at Missouri University recently responded to a foreign student who was assaulted earlier in October. The Missouri International Student Council released a statement that said they, “believe that all students, both international and domestic, should feel safe and welcome on campus.” 

The council said they want to raise awareness about the incident in which a student was attacked by a group of two to four individuals. The student suffered injuries that caused him to be hospitalized, where he is still recovering. 

“American and Chinese flags” by felibrilu is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 .
China sends the most international students to the United States in comparison to any other country.