NUMBER OF STUDENT VISAS ISSUED REACHES RECORD LEVEL
Some good news from the State Department. Of course, we kick most of these students out when they're finished due to a dearth of H-1B visas. Regardless, foreign students are some of our best assets in our long term public diplomacy efforts since they know America better than most of their countrymen and usually feel warmly about our country.
Here's the DOS announcement:
We are pleased to mark the end of International Education Week, November 12 - 16, by announcing that the Department has issued a record number of visas to students to study in the United States, exceeding pre-9/11 levels. During Fiscal Year 2007, the Department issued more than 651,000 student and exchange visitor visas - 10 percent more than last year and 90,000 more than were issued in Fiscal Year 2001.
As Secretary Rice has noted, "In this celebration of international education and exchange, the U.S. Department of State joins with the U.S. Department of Education to highlight the critical role of education in our efforts to secure a bright future based on international partnership and understanding."
The number of foreign students attending American institutions of higher learning continues to grow and the Department of State, in partnership with the Institute of International Education, academic institutions, and American colleges and universities, continues to spread the word to international students that we welcome them. Embassy and consular officials meet with prospective foreign students to explain the student visa application requirements and process and they participate in overseas college fairs providing information about education opportunities available in the United States. All consulates offer special appointments in an effort to ensure that foreign students do not miss their classes in the United States while waiting for a visa interview. International students have heard us and are choosing the United States as a premier destination for higher education.