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International Students Show Greater Interest in Science & Engineering Than Americans, According to Data

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According to a report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), universities in the United States would struggle to keep graduate programmes in the fields of science and engineering alive without a significant influx of international students.

Following a 2017 investigation, the report “International students in science and engineering” claims that foreign students are a valuable asset for the American job market and enable universities and colleges to provide academic programmes in science and engineering for domestic students.

According to research, if international students didn’t choose the areas, fewer US students would seek graduate degrees in electrical engineering and computer and information sciences.

According to the data, there were 9,083 full-time US graduate electrical engineering students in 2019 as opposed to 26,343 full-time international students. With 17,334 US graduate students and 44,786 foreign graduates during the same year, there was a significant disparity in the number of full-time graduate students from the US and other countries studying computer and information services.

However, figures show that the number of full-time overseas students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering at US colleges has decreased by 15%.

According to the survey, a significant portion of full-time graduate students in the US are foreign nationals, as seen below:

  • 82 percent of full-time graduate students in tin petroleum engineering
  • 74 percent in electrical engineering
  • 72 percent in computer and information sciences
  • 71 percent in industrial and manufacturing engineering
  • 70 percent in statistics
  • 67 percent in economics
  • 61 percent in civil engineering
  • 58 percent in mechanical engineering and agricultural economics
  • 56 percent in mathematics
  • 54 percent in chemical engineering
  • 53 percent in metallurgical and materials engineering
  • 52 percent in materials sciences
  • 50 percent in pharmaceutical sciences

After witnessing a decline during the pandemic, US colleges have reported an uptick in the number of overseas students in the 2021/22 academic year. According to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors 2022 report, there were 4% more international students in the US during that academic year.

Despite the fact that the US continues to be a popular study abroad destination and that these students make significant economic contributions, there are others in the US who oppose immigration and would like to see fewer foreigners studying and working there.

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