President Donald Trump's administration has brought numerous proclamations and changes in policies and laws to preserve and recapture the traditional manufacturing jobs to reduce trade deficits and make America great again. The administration has not only made changes relating to trade but has also made some other significant changes that will indirectly affect US higher education.
Importing overseas students = exports
US need to acknowledge that higher education is its major employer and growth contributor to the economy. It is not just a domestic sector with little impact on trade imbalances, but much more than that.
Overseas students enrolled in US schools are a big export. From their tuition fee, hostel charges to the board paid by these students all contribute towards US export. Every year US exports more and more students in higher education. About 1 million overseas students are currently enrolled in US schools. These overseas students contribute more than $35.8 billion to the US economy, and the numbers are still growing.
Reason behind this attraction
The reason these numbers are growing is that of two main reasons. Firstly, the global progress is the main contributor in increasing these numbers. With rise in income levels, health and education levels, many developing countries like China and India are producing more academically prepared students. Even though Asian students have been ranked as the world's best in the Program for International Students Assessment (PISA), US still remains the most attractive education destination due to its high quality and unique characteristics and its world-class colleges and universities.
American schools dominate the global higher education ranking system. A US degree holds high prestige and is seen as a passport to higher earnings and prestige in comparison to local degrees. English is also seen as a language of influence in all industries, science and other fields and thus it is highly valued to gain economic advancement.
International students adding value
The trump presidency needs to realize that overseas students add more value to the economy that just their tuition fee. They also raise the overall academic calibre of classes, increase diversity and foster a greater global perspective in US College and universities. The administration needs to see the benefits that exporting these students bring to US and should welcome more students and make immigration policies more intelligently.