From Associated Press:
Several universities have reported drops of one-fifth or more this fall in the number of new students from China. To adapt, some schools are stepping up recruiting in other parts of the world and working to hold on to their share of students from China.
University administrators and observers say trade conflicts and U.S. concerns about the security risks posed by visiting Chinese students appear to be accelerating a trend driven also by growing international competition, visa complications and the development of China’s own higher education system.
At Bentley University in Massachusetts, the number of new Chinese graduate students arriving on campus dropped from 110 last fall to 70 this time. As a result, the school is reviewing the viability of some graduate programs that have been most affected by the decline.
“I wouldn’t describe it as catastrophically bad,” President Alison Davis-Blake said. “We’ve been very intentional about knowing that a drop-off was coming and really broadening our international and domestic footprint.”
Significant drops also have been reported this fall at such schools as the University of Vermont, which saw a 23% decline in Chinese student enrollment, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which had a 20% decrease.
Bentley University is < 2 miles from our home. It's a lovely campus.
Like many colleges, Bentley has a Chinese student association. Its purpose is to "educate and break down barriers at the university."
But in my view, these college cultural associations (not just Chinese) don't have good strategies for breaking down barriers. Typically they put on their own cultural events – "come eat moon pies for Spring Festival" – but that doesn't break down many barriers. They typically attract culturally "open" students to attend.
I've always wondered if a university would be willing to do a "Pay For Results" contract to a for-profit consulting company charged with using guerilla tactics to generate much more integration and mixing of students, reducing isolation.