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Ban on Student Visas could cost $1bn lost in US universities- Analysts

By Oluwaseun Sonde

Analysts of Center for Global Development, Gaurav Khanna and his colleagues have said that United States of America plans to curtail student visas could cost US universities over $1 billion in lost revenues, with harmful ripple effects for US higher education and the broader economy.

According to the Analysts, liberalized trade led to a boom in international students, and reactionary immigration policies which include Trump administration’s move to bar international students from staying in the US if their university shifts online could leave a lasting impact on higher education and the economy.

They explained that US higher education has sustained tremendous growth in its exports overseas, meaning an increasing number of international students have come to the US to pursue undergraduate or graduate education in recent years.

“These students bring clear benefits to US schools, international students are a valuable resource for universities, allowing universities to maintain a high-quality educational experience and affordable tuition levels for local students. Using China as case study, they further said when China joined the World Trade Organization nearly 20 years ago, the United States saw hope for long-lasting economic gains from commerce with China. Today, that optimism feels like a distant memory as a contentious trade war continues to build.

“While Chinese products have brought cheaper prices for consumers, import competition has displaced American manufacturing workers. But interestingly, while US imports of goods continued to surge, exports of US services to China also grew particularly higher education.

“As we show in a new working paper, a lesser-known consequence of trade liberalization is that more Chinese students have enrolled in US colleges and universities delivering financial benefits to US schools”, analysts said.

They emphasized that international students come to US universities to consume education services. “In doing so, they do not only provide much-needed tuition revenue, but also local spending on other goods and services, a recent report by the Department of Commerce estimated that international students contributed over $40 billion to the US economy”, they said.

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