Foreign Students Displace Americans, Especially Minorities, in U.S. Universities

Edwin S. Rubenstein,, June 8


Foreign graduate students are increasingly crowding out our own people:

—In 1973 non-citizens received 17 percent of all Ph.D.s awarded in the U.S.

—In 1988 they received 30 percent

—In 2003 they received 35 percent

The foreign presence varies greatly among academic departments. Sixty-four percent of engineering PhDs. awarded in 2003 went to foreign students, as did nearly half (47 percent) of doctorates in the physical sciences.

But foreign students account for just 17 percent of education Ph.D.s.

Most foreign doctoral candidates are here on “temporary” student visas such as the J-1. Some become naturalized citizens and spend their careers working in the U.S. The others return home where they are often hired by U.S. firms outsourcing their operations abroad.

Either way the economic consequences are the same: lower income for native-born Americans—minorities and non-minorities alike.



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