International Educator - July/August 2018 - 8

FROM THE DESK OF
ESTHER D. BRIMMER, NAFSA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

Investing In the Future

T

HIS SUMMER, U.S. educators are reflecting on the previous academic year, the current state of

international education, and the year ahead. The U.S. administration's actions and rhetoric over the
past year could have a long-term deleterious impact on international education in this country.

The proposed travel bans had an immediate impact
on students and scholars and a chilling effect on international student enrollment in the United States.
According to the National Science Foundation's Science
and Engineering Indicators 2018 report, from fall 2016
to fall 2017, the total numbers of undergraduate and
graduate international students fell by 2.2 percent and 5.5
percent, respectively.
Over the longer term, these immigration policies could
lead to significant shifts in international students' preferences, changes in other countries' internationalization strategies, challenges for employers seeking talent, a slowing
of innovation in the United States, and diminished scope
of one of the United States's greatest foreign policy tools.
The travel bans and related actions could erode the many
benefits that international students and scholars bring to
the country. As international educators, we have seen this
play out across our institutions' campuses.
The second travel ban not only affected students and
scholars from the six countries listed, but others who
wondered if their country might be the next one added to
the list. As a result, other countries have benefited from the
changes in the flows of international students. The German
Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) reports that a 5.5
percent surge in enrollment numbers enabled Germany to
reach its goal of hosting 350,000 international students in
2017, three years ahead of schedule.1 (Read about the downward trend in international enrollment in our cover story
on page 18, and learn how institutions across the United
States are strategizing to attract and welcome international
students on page 24.)
Today's policies affect our communities and companies,
as well as our institutions. U.S. industries have profited
from the contributions of international graduates who stay
to conduct optional practical training (OPT). OPT allows
them to contribute to the U.S. economy for 12 months, and
an additional 24 months in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. However, growing
8  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J U L + AU G . 2018

uncertainty over immigration reforms may dissuade students from staying in the United States.
U.S. companies eager to recruit employees from
around the world have had to grapple with the practical
ramifications of these policies. History shows that international scholars and researchers enhance U.S. innovation
and progress. Nearly one-quarter of the founders of U.S.
start-up companies worth more than $1 billion first came
to the United States as international students. Additionally,
40 percent of the Nobel Prizes won by Americans in chemistry, medicine, and physics since 2000 were immigrants.
Yet, due to the travel bans, teams and colleagues are divided
across national borders, impeding advancements that could
benefit societies across the globe.
Our work as educators is more critical than ever
because international education remains one of the United
States's most important foreign policy tools. The relationships and the shared knowledge built through cross-cultural exchange-relationships we work toward and
facilitate every day-can lead to partnerships that enhance
human well-being and prosperity and contribute to peace
and security. International education is an investment in
the future. Short-term policy actions should not imperil
that future. n
1. ICEF Monitor. 2017. "Germany Reaches Enrolment Target Ahead of
Schedule." ICEF Monitor. December 5, 2017, http://monitor.icef.com/2017/12/
germany-reaches-enrolment-target-ahead-schedule/.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
NAFSA updates on Trump Administration's Executive
Actions: bit.ly/IE-ExecActions
DAAD's 2020 strategy: bit.ly/IE-DAAD2020
"International Students Who Started Billion-Dollar
Companies:" bit.ly/IE-JulyAug16

>> Take action to support public policies that
strengthen and expand international education at
connectingourworld.org.


http://monitor.icef.com/2017/12/germany-reaches-enrolment-target-ahead-schedule/ http://monitor.icef.com/2017/12/germany-reaches-enrolment-target-ahead-schedule/ http://www.bit.ly/IE-ExecActions http://www.bit.ly/IE-DAAD2020 http://www.bit.ly/IE-JulyAug16 http://www.connectingourworld.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - July/August 2018

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Brazil
Quick Questions
Feature: A Shock to the System
Feature: Something Old, Something New
Feature: Building on Strengths
Feature: Weathering the Storm
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - July/August 2018 - GF1
International Educator - July/August 2018 - GF2
International Educator - July/August 2018 - GF3
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 2
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 3
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 4
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 5
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 6
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 7
International Educator - July/August 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - July/August 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 10
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 11
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 12
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 13
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 14
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Global Spotlight: Brazil
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 17
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Feature: A Shock to the System
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 19
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 20
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 21
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 22
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 23
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Feature: Something Old, Something New
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 25
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 26
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 27
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 28
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 29
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 30
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 31
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Feature: Building on Strengths
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 33
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 34
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 35
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 36
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 37
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Feature: Weathering the Storm
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 39
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 40
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 41
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 42
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 43
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 45
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 46
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 47
International Educator - July/August 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 49
International Educator - July/August 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 51
International Educator - July/August 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 53
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Forum
International Educator - July/August 2018 - 55
International Educator - July/August 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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