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Educators Testify about Visa Delays

October 11, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 41

Obtaining and maintaining visa status in the U.S. as a foreign student or scholar has become so difficult that many institutions say it is a major factor in declining enrollments of international students. The situation is also permitting fewer opportunities for faculty to host and work with colleagues from abroad. That was the message delivered to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week by a distinguished panel of educators that included Martin C. Jischke, president of Purdue University; Adam W. Herbert, president of Indiana University; and C. D. Mote Jr., president of the University of Maryland, College Park. "We believe a critical need exists to reexamine current visa policies," Herbert said. For fall 2004, he said that international student applications for admissions at IU had dropped by 14% for undergraduates and by 21% for graduate students. Other institutions have reported similar numbers. But "visa delays are not the only reason for declining international enrollment in the U.S.," Jischke said. "It is a combination of factors," including competition from institutions in other parts of the world. Still, "visa delays deliver the final blow that persuades students to study elsewhere," Jischke said.


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