A survey conducted by FPP EDU Media and Intead, premier International students recruitment companies revealed that more than 60% candidates would be less inclined to come to the US if Trump was elected. What seemed like a distant possibility then is now a reality with Mr. Trump being the President-elect. Hence it’s important to look at the ground reality for foreign students.
In many ways it has been an unprecedented election, and its implications have been felt in different areas, from politics to education. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty around the future and that’s particularly true for young students who come to the US, the top education seat in the world. But is the true picture as gloomy and dark as one imagines it to be; probably not.
The root of all speculation
In his long and much talked about election campaign Mr. Trump made several immigration related policy proposals that could change the face of things to come. He even called for extreme vetting for visa applicants from certain parts of the world. It could have implications on F1 visas for International students.
President Obama’s Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals meant that students who made it to the US illegally as children got temporary relief from deportation. There have been concerns about the program due to Trump’s policy decisions. However according to some education experts, things are not expected to change as drastically as one would imagine.
What is likely to change?
Michael A. Olivas, interim president, University of Houston Downtown believes that even if the new government gets rid of DACA, they will not be able to deport students who are a part of the program. There might be similar practical implications that come into play, which would mean that International students don’t bear the full force of the immigration policy upheaval.
According to Olivas, the situation is similar to Brexit and that is because there is a lot of uncertainty. Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, Institute for International Education however remains optimistic as he says, “I think America is going to continue to welcome international students, and they are going to continue to want to come here.”
There are many similar voices in the country, which believe that International exchange of students is an integral part of the fabric of the society. They are making themselves heard and that should be heartening for International students who are understandably grappling with uncertainty at the moment.