Students face US doubts

An increasing number of Chinese students have learned a harsh lesson regarding visas for the United States and are looking at new destinations to fulfill their overseas study needs, specialists say.

US visa obstacles and climbing tuition fees mean students are examining options for other countries for higher education, as well as institutions at home, industry professionals claim.

“Chinese students’ enthusiasm for American higher education has been dampened by the US administration’s visa policy, which has delayed or denied entry to many of them, especially those aiming for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees,” says Annabelle Ding, admission representative at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

According to the nonpartisan think tank Migration Policy Institute, international student enrollment at US colleges and universities dropped for the third year in a row, and the number of student visas issued to Chinese applicants went down by 54 percent in 2018 from 2015.

“Recent US policies have affected its image and reputation, obstructed exchanges with other countries, and undermined its own interests,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in November.

“Today, it is all the more important for us to create positive conditions for the exchange of students as well as people-to-people ties with an open and inclusive attitude,” Geng said.

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