Congressional Report on Foreign Students Calls for a Need to Increase Competitiveness

The Congressional Research Service just issued a comprehensive report on factors related to foreign students in the U.S. According to the congressional report, concerns regarding competitiveness are now more important than security concerns, a major shift in focus from the way that foreign students were perceived after 9/11.

According to the report, “Higher education institutions in the United States are concerned over their ability to attract the numbers and quality of foreign students, and whether the new post-September 11 security measures impede the entry of potential students into the U.S. education system. The fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) increasingly rely on foreign students, and these fields hold a top priority with most research institutions.”

The report continues by justifying the need for foreign students in an economic situation where there is a high demand for the skill sets provided by the above-stated fields of study. Many groups and organizations involved in higher education, according to the report, are now looking for ways to “expand pathways for foreign students to emigrate.” Concerns have also been raised regarding issues related to the funding and English-language competency of foreign students.

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