Trump's Bigotry & Disappearing US Int’l Students

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 11/22/2017 05:25:00 PM
Make America White Again, university without diversity edition. 
Commentators often use "nativism" as a euphemism to describe Trump's apparent self-superiority over non-white people. Often couched by fellow bigots in terms of "preserving cultural identity" or "protecting national security," this irrational fear of others who do not look like you is dragging an entire country into the mud in more ways than one. The United States' global reputation is taking a hit worldwide as only 22% of the rest of the world has confidence in the America Firster. At least Trump knows what his base looks like.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, would-be international students studying in the United States are now keeping away in droves--and this is only his first year in office. I can only imagine how up to (heaven forbid) four more years of Trump's homophobic, racist and xenophobic discourse and policy will affect those previously intending to study Stateside. The cheek of these uppity coloreds aspiring to a tertiary degree, Trump likely thinks...
The number of newly arriving international students declined an average 7 percent in fall 2017, with 45 percent of campuses reporting drops in new international enrollment, according to a survey of nearly 500 campuses across the country by the Institute of International Education. Experts cited an uncertain social and political climate in the United States as part of the reason for the decline in enrollment.

“It’s a mix of factors,” said Rajika Bhandari, head of research for the institute, which collects data on international students in cooperation with the State Department. “Concerns around the travel ban had a lot to do with concerns around personal safety based on a few incidents involving international students, and a generalized concern about whether they’re safe.”
Whether justified or not, safety perceptions are on the wane. For instance, Indian students who've been plentiful in recent years are now thinking twice, especially after the murder of a US-educated compatriot working Stateside:
Dr. Godard said fewer students came from India partly because of a currency crisis in the country, but also because of concerns about the Trump administration’s travel ban affecting Muslim countries. India was not on that list, but Dr. Godard said many of the university’s Indian students were from Muslim areas of the country and were concerned about the ban.

“Although India wasn’t listed as one of the countries, certainly feeling welcome and safe and all those things is important,” he said. “It would be naïve to say that wasn’t a contributing factor.” Prospective students from India — interviewed shortly after last year’s presidential election — have expressed fears about the racial climate in the United States, concerns that might have been heightened after the shooting death in February of an Indian engineer in a suburban Kansas City bar.
With so many other options at the present time--Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the "discounted" UK with its weak currency post-Brexit referendum, why go to Trump's America for the privilege of paying top dollar for racial abuse? Sure, there are white supremacists in all those other countries as well, but the difference is that the government isn't actively trying to make you uncomfortable.

Make no mistake: international students paying full fees help keep any number of US educational institutions afloat. Couple the loss of such students from Trump's hardly-concealed white supremacy with reduced funding for universities due to his ongoing "war on science" and I'd bet their global standing will take a hit over the next few godforsaken years.

But hey, there's a bright side to the story: the Canadians seem to be doing rather better as sensible international students go there instead to avoid TrumpLand:
Some of Canada's biggest universities are beginning the new school year with a record number of international students on campus. The steady upswing in foreign applicants began several years ago, then started to spike after the U.S. presidential election in 2016. The challenge for the Canadian government now is to maintain that trend amid competing countries, and to encourage more from the talented pool to stay on as permanent residents.

The University of Toronto, Canada's top draw for international students, enrolled 17,452 international students in undergraduate and graduate programs last year, making up about 20 per cent of the overall student body. That compares to 7,380 international students comprising about 10 per cent of the total student population a decade ago, in 2007.
There's no missing the Trump factor here:
The university's steady increase became a spike after U.S. President Donald Trump was elected." Clearly there are things about the international situation — worries about stability, Brexit and the U.S. political environment — that have changed or increased international students' interest in looking beyond their own countries and beyond the U.S.," said Richard Levin, executive director of enrolment services and university registrar.

"Now in places like that, students are looking for alternatives and Canada is presenting as a good one in terms of stability, safety and inclusiveness." According to data provided by Universities Canada there has been a sharp increase in both applications and website traffic from the U.S. and abroad since the 2016 U.S. election, with many seeing a 20 per cent jump or more in applications.