据介绍，有关来美留学的信息，可以访问美国国务院教育和文化事务局网页“美国教育” (EducationUSA)，网址：http://www.educationusa.state.gov/ 和《美国高等教育》电子期刊(College and University Education in the United States)，网址：http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itsv/1105/ijse/ijse1105.htm。
United States opens its doors wide open for foreign students: Visa requirements greatly relaxed
Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune
Washington, D.C. 17 February (Asiantribune.com): The United States has extended the length of time foreign students may be issued student visas, and will issue student visas up to 120 days before classes begin, as compared to 90 days under previous regulations, the State Department announced
The State Department made this significant change due to vehement criticism by the nation’s premier universities lodged at far as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which said that the stringent visa policies adopted by the Department of State since the 9/11 attack on the American soil has discouraged foreign students applying for American universities.
Because of terrorist controlled measures enrollments in American universities declined since 2001. Nevertheless, in 2004/2005, 89,634 international scholars were teaching or conducting research at U.S. campuses, an increase of 8.1% from the previous year.
Each year, international students contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy through their tuition, fees and living expenses. In 2004/2005 the net contribution to the U.S. economy by foreign students and their families was 13 billion 290 million dollars.
Under the new State Department regulations, students applying for initial-entry F-1 (academic student), F-2 (spouse or child of F-1) and M-1 (vocational training) and M-2 (spouse and child of M-1) visas now may be issued up to 120 days before their academic program start date.
“This change reflects our ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens and our visitors by keeping our borders secure, while also taking significant steps to ensure that our doors remain open to those seeking to visit, study or conduct business in the U.S.,” the State Department announcement states.
The announcement however emphasized that these changes apply only to students entering the United States for the first time.
Continuing students may apply for new F or M visas at any time, as long as they have maintained their student status and their student and exchange visitor information records are current. J-1 (exchange visitor) and J-2 (spouse or child of J-1) visas may be issued to J-1 visitors at any time before beginning their programs in the United States.
The number of foreign students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions during the 2004-2005 academic year remained fairly steady at 565,039, down 1.3 percent from the previous year’s totals, according to the Institute of International Education’s 2005 report on international academic mobility.
Institute of International Education (IIE) is a nonprofit educational and cultural exchange organization based in New York.
U.S. education institutions enrolled 547,867 foreign students in 2000-2001 academic year (before the 9/11 attack), and a lower number of students in subsequent years, compared to an increase to 565,039 in 2004-2005, notes IIE.
“Strong recruitment, combined with more efficient and transparent student visa processes, have begun to stem the tide of decreasing international student enrollment. We need to continue these concerted efforts to get the word out that our doors are open to international students, in order to attract the best and the brightest students from all over the world,” said IIE President Allan E. Goodman.
The leading country of origin for international students in the United States for the fourth consecutive year was India (80,466, up 1 percent), followed by China (62,523, up 1 percent), South Korea (53,358, up 2 percent), Japan (42,215, up 3 percent) and Canada (28,140, up 4 percent).
Of the top 20 sending counties, the sharpest decreases in the number of students were reported from Indonesia (down 13%), Kenya (down 9%), Pakistan (down 14%) and Malaysia (down 5%). The total number of students from the Middle East region 31,248, down 2 percent) declined, although not as sharp decline as the 9 percent in 2004.
According to the New York-based Institute of International Education (IIE), the slight overall decline in international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities was due to several factors, including real and perceived difficulties in obtaining student visas (especially in scientific and technical fields), rising U.S. tuition costs, recruitment by other English-speaking nations and misperceptions abroad that it is difficult for international students to come to the United States.
The United States, in the past five decades or so maintained her global political, military, economic and diplomatic clout because of the free flow of foreign brains, was the view of most senior academics who testified before United States House and Senate committees last year urging the Congress to intervene to relax some of the stringent visa regulations put in place after the 9/11 attack. The Department of State seems to have listened to saner counsel in relaxing some of the visa regulations encouraging international students, graduate students and researcher to enroll in U.S. universities.
- Asian Tribune -