Paul L. Caron

Friday, August 12, 2022

WSJ: Chinese Student Visas To U.S. Plunge 50% From Pre Pandemic Levels, Imperiling University Finances

Wall Street Journal, Chinese Student Visas to U.S. Tumble From Prepandemic Levels:

The number of U.S. student visas issued to Chinese nationals plunged by more than 50% in the first half of 2022 compared with pre-Covid levels, with the U.S. losing ground as the most-coveted place for Chinese students to pursue higher education abroad.

Even before the pandemic, Chinese students were shifting their study-abroad sights elsewhere, driven by doubts about whether they would feel welcome in the U.S. and the emergence of more domestic and international alternatives. Travel restrictions and heightened safety concerns during the pandemic accelerated that decline.

In the first six months of 2022, the U.S. issued 31,055 F-1 visas to Chinese nationals, down from 64,261 for the same period in 2019, according to data from the U.S. State Department. The drop has hit revenue at big and small colleges and universities around the country, including state flagships.


For more than a decade, China has been the top source of international students to the U.S., providing universities with crucial tuition dollars to offset domestic declines and dwindling state funding at public universities. In the 2019-20 academic year, before the pandemic depressed study-abroad numbers, Chinese nationals accounted for 35% of foreigners studying in the U.S. and contributed $15.9 billion in economic value, according to numbers tracked and aggregated by the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report.

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