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Non-residents of US have more PhDs from American varsities: report

Written by: Staff
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Washington, Oct 29 (UNI) A growing percentage of the doctorates the US universities award are earned by students who are not residents of the United States, according to a new report by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In the 20th century, the United States became an educator of the world, with the largest groups of foreign students coming from India, China, Taiwan and South Korea, earning doctorates from American universities.

International students represent an important means for strengthening the US cultural diplomacy around the world, according to new reports that show that the United States continues to welcome more international students than any other country.

Although international students earned less than 10 per cent of all doctorates awarded in the United States in 1960, by 1999, they were earning more than one-third of all doctorates in the fields of science and engineering and 17 per cent of doctorates in other fields, according to the report, US Doctorates in the 20th Century.

Students from the People's Republic of China, the largest international group, received more than 24,000 of the doctorates awarded by the US universities in the 1990s.

Recent trends in the enrollment of international student in the United States reported by the American Council on Education (ACE) shows that by 2003 international students earned 55.3 per cent of doctoral degrees in engineering, 44.3 per cent in mathematics, and 43.8 per cent in computer sciences.

Between the 1999-2000 and 2004-2005 school years, international student enrollment grew nearly 17 per cent in the United States.

In the 20th century, a total of 426 US institutions awarded more than 1.36 million doctorates, more than three-fourth of them between 1970 and 1999.

The report describes the development of the unique US graduate education in which fundamental research is conducted at universities, typically with the assistance of graduate students.

According to the internationally influential US model, doctoral education is ''organised around an intensive, real-world research experience that prepares students to be scholars capable of discovering, integrating, and applying knowledge,'' the report says.

The report also discusses other important changes in graduate education. Women made up 47 per cent of all US-citizen PhDs from 1995 to 1999 -- a more than fourfold increase from 1960 to 1964, when they earned just 11 per cent of US doctorates.

Minorities now earn about 14 per cent of US doctorates in both the sciences and engineering and in other fields as well.

International student enrollment declined slightly in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, after more than 30 years of continuous growth. The report attributes this decline to a variety of factors including ''perceptions that it is difficult to secure visas and that the United States is unwelcoming to international students, competition from other countries, the high cost of US higher education, increasing higher education capacity in countries that traditionally send a large number of students to study overseas, such as China and India, and increased anti-American sentiment around the world.'' But the report says that visa processing time and visa acceptance rates have ''significantly improved,'' and the latest data on enrollments ''show a rebound.'' UNI XC SI VV1024

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