Where have all the foreign students gone?

Wherever it is, it’s increasingly not here.

Students from India, China, Iran and other countries have long flocked to Texas campuses to work with top professors and to earn a prestigious American degree.

But this year, those students appear to be less enamored by the Lone Star State.

International applications to Texas’ four-year public universities have plummeted over the past year by at least 10,000, a 12.5 percent decrease from last fall, according to a Houston Chronicle review of university data. The dramatic decline is a stark contrast to the 30 percent increase in applications from 2013 to 2016. At the University of Houston, for example, foreign applications dropped by 27 percent.

Several factors are likely causing foreign students to look elsewhere, analysts and campus administrators say, noting a sluggish global economy and greater competition from other countries. Still, many bluntly point to President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric as significant, saying it is creating an unwelcoming environment.

“U.S. politics has made some international students uncomfortable,” said Jeff Fuller, a former admissions director at the University of Houston who left his post in May.

Fuller said potential foreign applicants’ questions showed anxiety. Will I be deported? Could my visa change? And, he said, they wondered, “How accepting would a campus be of an international student when everything they see on TV shows ‘build a wall’?”

The decline comes as U.S. public colleges increasingly see enrolling foreign students as important to their operations and mission. International students pay out-of-state tuition prices, an important revenue source as universities fear declining state support. Foreign students make up a significant portion of the diversity that campuses value.

Drawing students from around the globe shows prestige and reach, too. Texas universities enroll the third-highest number of foreign students in the country, according to the Institute of International Education, an advocacy group for student exchange.

“It is a cause for concern across all universities,” said Yvette Bendeck, the associate vice president of enrollment management at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. “Everybody’s talking about how to approach the shift that we’re seeing globally … interaction with people of different backgrounds is an experience people should have when they’re in the classroom.”

Obviously, federal policy is the main factor here. If SB4 is allowed to be implemented, it would not surprise me to see some second-order effects as well, so that we see states that are enthusiastically following the Trump lead seeing steeper drops in enrollment from foreign students than states like California. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but I believe it could. The tuition issue exists at private universities, too, where having some number of full-tuition-payers helps stretch the financial aid budget. Basically, there’s nothing good that comes of this, and even if the travel ban is ultimately thrown out by SCOTUS, the effect could well linger well into the future.

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29 Responses to Where have all the foreign students gone?

  1. neither here nor there says:

    Let us not give Trump all the credit, Abbott and Patrick deserve a good share of that. Who wants to go to a state where the color or ethnicity may mean that you will be stopped and questioned about your right to be here.

    For all those that say that racial profiling will not occur, BS, keep repeating the lies to yourself and the other like minded people like you.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    SB4 will have absolutely zero effect on foreign students here with a valid visa Those students go to the DPS and get a driver’s license just like all of us have, except theirs have an expiration date that matches the time on their visa.

    So if they get stopped by the police, they show their DL, take their ticket, and move on, just like everyone else here legally. If they feel like they got stopped with no probable cause, then they can file a complaint with the offending police department, just like every other person here legally.

    Using SB4 as some kind of boogieman for foreign students here legally is a red herring.

    The only legitimate “fear of Trump” as far as foreign students go should be from students from the travel ban countries, and more generally, Muslim students. And you know what, if that keeps the next generation of Saudi flight students or clock boy from coming here, I’m good with that.

  3. Ross says:

    @Bill, you are clueless about what often happens when people of color get stopped by police. It’s not all “here’s your ticket, have a nice day”. It’s more often a stressful situation where the cop exerts his “authoritah” and harasses the driver, threatens various bad outcomes, etc. You are naive if you think that doesn’t happen.

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    Let’s say that’s all true. Your problem, then, is with the police themselves, not the law. SB4 doesn’t give police even one more excuse to stop someone. It does give them an excuse to investigate people more thoroughly AFTER they have been stopped though….IF they don’t have a DL, TX ID, or passport/visa combo, the same kind of passport/visa combo that you and I would have to carry if traveling in another country.

    Your time would be better spent trying to root out bad cops than trying to stop a law that will help protect Texans, particularly, Texas motorists, who don’t deserve to be endangered by drivers who are not licensed.

  5. Ross says:

    @Bill, SB4 gives police the impression that it’s OK to start doing more pretext stops, just in case the driver of that car is an evil illegal immigrant. Since everyone who is brown is a potential illegal immigrant, let’s start pulling them over for grins and giggles. SB4 in and of itself is bad enough, but the tone and impression it sets makes it worse. And that’s ignoring the blatantly unconstitutional restrictions on political speech the law contains.

  6. Bill Daniels says:


    I’ve been pulled over for obviously pretexted stops several times. I know what that looks like. Long ago, I was with a friend, driving on a rural highway in the Valley. A DPS cruiser was doing 5 under on a deserted highway. Obvious setup. I told my friend who was driving, “just pass him doing 1 under the speed limit (which is agonizingly slow, BTW). Friend is a poc, if that makes any difference.

    Sure enough, they stop us. Two troopers, each pulls one of us out for “questioning.” probably 10 minutes at the side of that deserted road with two Columbo wannabes. The one interrogating me wants to see my bag until I start to retrieve it, then says, he doesn’t need to see it after all. Long story short, they send us on our way. On the way out, trooper tells us the reason they stopped us was, I didn’t have a seat belt on. Back then the law was newer and there was little compliance or enforcement of the law.

    I blamed the DPS back then, BS stop I said. Now, I realize I could have avoided that whole bit of unpleasantness had I just followed the law and buckled up.

    Even a pretexted stop has to be predicated on observation of a law being violated….a tail light out, speeding, sticker out of date, something.

    If you are saying that cops are just making up stuff to stop people, then again, your problem is with the police, not the laws.

    But now you have me curious. Exactly what free speech is SB4 preventing?

  7. neither here nor there says:

    As Ross said, Bill you are clueless, always a story to explain anything found inconvenient.

    What a great story when something similar happened to me and my friends, they not only made us open the bags, but the trunk of the car and they went through all the bags. I guess it was the color of the skin that made the difference. Or maybe the time that I had to submit to a full body search, just because. Or maybe the time that a gun was placed to my head. Or maybe the time that I was driving a car that was expensive. Or maybe the time that just out late and we had to open the trunk for them. Or maybe when I was made to stand in the rain because the car I was driving kinda looked like the one that was reported. Or maybe the numerous other times. How I wish I looked white so I could enjoy all those so called I am discriminated against whites, they would seem like paradise.

    My kids thought I was crazy when I gave them the talk about being “Mexican” in a white country. They now know what I meant.

  8. Steve Houston says:

    Ross/NHNT, neither of you have pointed out where SB4 changes any of the behaviors you have encountered, nor do you provide a single example of any new behaviors the measure will produce. When driving, carry your driver license, don’t break the law, and you will have nothing extra to worry about. As Bill said, if you have a bad encounter with a cop, report it. Chances have increased that the cop will be wearing a camera so the footage can be reviewed to see if he did anything wrong or not.

    According to the theories you both espouse, cops already use minor violations to stop you, heaven forbid if he’s just doing the job we pay him to do like enforce the law, but exactly what is in SB4 that frightens the two of you so much? If you don’t like being stopped, obey the law to greatly decrease your chances of such an encounter.

  9. neither here nor there says:

    Steve you are clueless also, I have always carried a driver’s license. At one point a birth certificate. So go back to believing that everything is okay.

    Steve how great to be white in a white country, may you come back in color so your eyes can be opened. Keep believing in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.

  10. Bill Daniels says:


    I’m guessing you didn’t get strip searched last year. Maybe in the 50’s or 60’s? I’m sorry you were treated shabbily by cops in the past, but as I stated in another of Kuff’s threads, this isn’t the 70’s any more, and you aren’t Jose Campos Torres.

    Are there still bad cops out there? Yep, they eventually make the news, but even the bad ones can generally be avoided or survived with common sense. Your beef is with them, not the law against speeding, not the license plate sticker law, and not against a law designed to get unlicensed drivers off of our roads.

    You want to know the talk my Dad had with me when I started driving? He said, don’t be a target. Drive in the middle lanes, if possible. Wear the seat belt, check the lights often, always use a turn signal and make full stops, even if you are the only car on the road, and in short, don’t call attention to yourself. Let the cops out trolling and running speed traps get somebody else while you just slip by, under the radar (pun intended). He never had to tell me to be polite to a cop, because I was raised to be polite and respectful to everyone. I’m the guy who says please, thank you, ma’am and sir to the cashier at McDonalds and the guy bagging my groceries.

    Sage advice from a father to a son, and suitable for any race. I’m guessing that’s in line with what you taught your kids?

  11. Steve Houston says:

    NHNT, you keep avoiding the question posed. Rather than blow smoke, just tell us specifically what SB4 is going to change from the current situation. If the worst change is going to be some redneck cop is going to ask you where you’re from as you hand him your Texas driver license, you are every bit as privileged as you suggest the rest of us are. So feel free to adjust the chip on your shoulder accordingly but you’re complaining about something not tethered to SB4, if you have a specific concern about the new law, inform the rest of us about it rather than old experiences that have nothing to do with it.

  12. neither here nor there says:

    Steve, ask a real question and maybe I will respond. So like I said go back to the never never land of white privilege. There are good cops and bad cops, some of the bad cops will create a reason to stop you if they think you are illegal. Some just hate brown people. The good cops still don’t turn in the bad cops.

    I don’t know why some white people seem to think that someone has to have violated a law to be stopped, are you so ignorant that you don’t watch and read news? Or do you choose to ignore what you don’t like.

    You are right Bill it is not the 70s, but it ain’t white privilege paradise, not yet probably never. But who knows, I don’t. Trump said like the 50s.

    The video below is from Arizona, after passing similar laws, I know that if you that are bigots or racists won’t care, I will assume that some are just low IQ but good people.


  13. neither here nor there says:

    Oh steve Black folks have it much worse they stand a good chance of being shot.

  14. Bill Daniels says:


    In your video, the cop says the driver was “impeding traffic,” and that two cars had to go around him because, presumably, he was stopped in a lane of traffic for what the reporter and cop agree was around a minute. The reporter AGREES that he stopped the car in the roadway. The reporter and the cop both say he did. They have cameras all over the car, this would be super easy to prove that he did NOT stop and impede traffic, and yet, once he turned right, there was a gap in the tape until we see the cop pulling him over.

    I’d say that little sting operation was a big, fat fail.

    In the follow up, the reporter bemoans, “what if he didn’t have a DL?” Hey, he should have taken the bus if he has no DL.

  15. Steve Houston says:

    NHNT, so to sum up your position, SB4 does nothing new with regard to cops stopping you, check. But given the sheer amount and detail of laws tied to traffic, I doubt many people can avoid breaking the law for very long so the cops don’t need to make something up to pull you over, especially since so much of it depends on individual interpretation. And I’ve read enough one sided accounts of cops supposedly pulling someone over “for no reason” that are later found to be completely false to dismiss the majority of them until they are properly vetted. You might not like a particular reason why you or someone is stopped by authorities but the expansive traffic code written by those wonderful part timers in Austin can be blamed for that. As far as certain people being more likely to be shot by cops, perhaps you should review the detailed report by Obama’s FBI that proved almost all so shot were engaging in felonies, brandishing a gun, etc. etc. If some groups are more prone to such foolish behavior, maybe they are the ones in need of more training, the small handful of mistakes made as the result of human error understandable.

  16. Steve Houston says:

    Oh Bill! You must be a racist to point out facts and use logic! For shame! (sarcasm intended)

  17. Bill Daniels says:


    I didn’t even bother to point out that no ticket was issued by the cop, which was rather nice, considering this was a set up, intended to make the cop look bad. Do something illegal right in front of a cop, get called on it, have your accomplice ADMIT you did something illegal, and the cop still doesn’t write a ticket? I can’t say I wouldn’t have issued a ticket if I was him, just for wasting my time.

    One other anecdotal observation, about my own personal traffic stops through the years, not sure what it means:

    I have generally fared better when being pulled over by a black or Hispanic cop, meaning, more often let go without a ticket by them vs. white cops. I don’t know why that is.

  18. neither here nor there says:

    Steve save your racist thoughts and words for those that think like you. Don’t bring up useless facts to justify racist beliefs. Just admit you are a racist and live with it. Give me a link and I will prove that your Obama statement has a lot more in there that racists tend to like to leave out.

    Bill you are making up stuff. Bill you and steve are racists and bigots, as far as I am concerned. I understand, must be nice to have that white privilege. But as long as racists statement and bigots statements are posted I will respond to them.

    So Steve is SB4 doesn’t change anything why do it? Yes racist know it changes things.

  19. Bill Daniels says:


    I hate to break this to you, but wrapping all those beads around the rear view mirror is also illegal. And guess what? Your people intentionally added the beads to make it illegal, they didn’t get the car with the beads already there. I’m just laughing, at the amount of fail in that video. They weren’t sending their best. LOL

    Applicable AZ law:

    Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not operate a motor vehicle with an object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed or applied on the windshield or side or rear windows or with an object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed or applied in or on the motor vehicle in a manner that obstructs or reduces a driver’s clear view through the windshield or side or rear windows.

    A.R.S. section 28-959.01(B).

    B. A person shall not operate a motor vehicle with an image display device that is visible to a driver seated in a normal driving position when the vehicle is in motion. C. This section does not apply to any of the following: . . . 4. Image display devices that are portable and are not used to display dynamic visual images other than for purposes of navigation or global positioning to a driver while the vehicle is in motion.

    A.R.S. section 28-963.

  20. Bill Daniels says:

    I hate to rub it in, but it also looks very much like the third brake light is not operational on that car, but that could be because of the deep window tint obscuring it, which……would also be illegal. Ouch.

  21. neither here nor there says:

    Bill and Steve, you are like those persons that the military warned Americans about. My father and uncles went to fight them, but like a virus they keep coming back. Fact is whether fighting the Kaiser or the communist in Korea, Iraq, my family serves but regardless every one true blood American must speak out. Watch the video that is what Steve and Bill are like.


    If we keep quiet when fascists, Nazis speak we are not doing our country a favor,

  22. Steve Houston says:

    So again, instead of coming up with a single, concrete example of how the specific law will change anything he complains about, Manny feels the need to 1) make personal attacks, 2) drag his father and uncle’s military service into the equation because he wouldn’t join himself, and 3) continue to evade the core issue. That sounds about par for the course.

    Will it lead to mass deportation of those here illegally? No. Will it lead to police zeroing in on Latino-looking people locally? There is no evidence of that, especially given the local sheriff and police chief have added a great deal more work should their troops simply ask the question, “Where are you from?”. Is the specific law great public policy on it’s face, not particularly but it’s most telling when opponents are so willing to shout out claims of racism simply for those asking the basic questions one would ask of any law.

    Bill, I’m sure he really believes the staged “experiment” as highly edited as it was, allows him to make sweeping generalizations, after all, the chip on his shoulder is large enough over any slight, perceived or real. He probably doesn’t even realize just how ingrained his sense of feigned outrage is, nor how poorly he looks to others in his burning need to shout people down that either oppose his racist views or dare to ask a simple question for clarification. I saw plenty of his type when I served decades ago, always convinced they were singled out for extra KP duty because of their color or denied passes for the same reason despite all evidence to the contrary but so be it, he hurts his cause as he sees fit.

  23. neither here nor there says:

    Really Steve, is that the best you can, because I wouldn’t join. You don’t know nothing.

    Where is the link to the Obama study?

    If SB4 doesn’t change anything, why would you care or why would anyone care. Your comment that it will not lead to … It would not matter if I gave 20 examples people like you hate certain type of people.

    Look at the youtube video there is not much difference in what that Nazi is preaching than what you and Bill are preaching, your insults don’t matter because that is how bullies or Nazi react.

    But you prove your point all you have are unsubstantiated statements. You prove that nothing will happen. Like I said it must be nice to have all that white privilege and feel how rotten life is for you.

    By the way my name is Manuel last name is Barrera. Now tell me what your real name is Steve?

    Here is the video again look at it and maybe you can change


    But here are more on racial profiling but I realize that hard core racists and bigots will not care,






    I know how racist think so for their benefit




    STEVE, WHAT IS YOUR NAME? I will wait but not hold by breath for you to at least attempt to prove your point using something other than your statements.

    By the way did you verify what Bill wrote? Are any of those reasons stated the reasons the officer said he stopped the vehicle, of course not, but racists and bigots like to believe that they are not racists or bigots so they create what ifs.

  24. Ross says:

    SB4 is bad because it removes the ability of local government and police officials to manage their employees and officers as they see fit. It also emboldens police officers to disobey or bend policy in other matters, by making it nearly impossible for management to determine what they want officers to do in specific situations. I’ve said before that the law disallowing local government officials from prohibiting the asking of national origin questions is probably legal, but really bad policy. I can’t think of a good reason for a local police officer on the street to ask any immigration related questions. I also believe that more officers will forget that they cannot, by law, arrest people for failure to identify, and that identification does not necessarily mean a government issued photo ID. I personally refuse to ID myself just because a police officer asks, or to show photo ID to a police officer unless I happen to be operating a motor vehicle.

    I will repeat my assertion that the limitations on political speech in SB4 are unconstitutional on their face, and will be overturned.

  25. Bill Daniels says:

    “I will repeat my assertion that the limitations on political speech in SB4 are unconstitutional on their face, and will be overturned.”

    The only limitation on speech for public officials, in their official capacity, is to prevent them from telling their subordinates, “I demand that you break the SB4 law by not checking immigration status of people you detain.”

    It will still be legal for an office holder to say they personally disagree with the law, that they would like to see it repealed, or any other negative thing about the law other than telling their troops to break the law by not enforcing it.

    There’s a parallel here with the KY county clerk who refused to permit her subordinates to issue marriage licenses. What did people say about that woman? “If she can’t or won’t abide by the law, then she should step down and let someone who is willing do the job.”

    What’s different here?

  26. Bill Daniels says:

    “By the way did you verify what Bill wrote? Are any of those reasons stated the reasons the officer said he stopped the vehicle, of course not, but racists and bigots like to believe that they are not racists or bigots so they create what ifs.”


    When you find yourself in a hole, first, stop digging.

    The video you presented has, for some reason, English subtitles of the cop and the reporter speaking, uh, English.

    female reporter: Why you just stop him?

    cop: Because he was impeding traffic. He was stopped in the roadway.

    female reporter: No, we were taping everything.

    cop: OK, he was impeding traffic

    female reporter: No, no, no, no, we have the recording.

    cop: There were two vehicles that went around him.

    female reporter: We were doing our job. We want to know if you stopped him because you feel he is Mexican.

    cop: No, I stopped him because he was impeding traffic.

    reporter: Excuse me, impeding traffic? What kind of minutes? BECAUSE IT WAS LESS THAN ONE MINUTE.

    Cop: OH YEAH, I’D SAY ABOUT ONE MINUTE. Which is very unusual. To the point that two vehicles had to go (around him).

    Bill, from earlier post: In your video, the cop says the driver was “IMPEDING TRAFFIC,” and that two cars had to go around him because, presumably, he was stopped in a lane of traffic for what the reporter and cop agree was around a minute. The reporter AGREES that he stopped the car in the roadway. The reporter and the cop both say he did.

    Manny: Are any of those reasons stated the reasons the officer said he stopped the vehicle, of course not……..

    Look, I’ve been where you are, where I just got destroyed in a debate. The right move here is just to admit you are wrong, and move on. I mentioned the beads (rosary beads?) and the brake light just for the irony involved. “Hey, we’ll send out a POS car full of violations, then scream waycism when it gets pulled over.”

    I’m tired of transcribing videotape for you, but the reporter mentions that the total time to the traffic stop was under 5 minutes from the intersection where our man turned right and the tape stopped, to the time our man gets stopped and the tape starts again. If they were true journalists, they would have showed you that whole 5 minute tape, rather than conveniently not showing you the part where both the cop and the reporter AGREE that our man was stopped in the roadway for less than to about a minute. She also didn’t dispute the cop’s assertion that two cars had to go around. Why not? If he lied about that and you have tape, why not call him out?

    Again, if the tape was damning against the cop, why not show it? That’s Jorge Ramos level propaganda there, although the female reporter is a little cutie, so there’s that.

  27. neither here nor there says:

    Bill you don’t understand, and you ask that I admit that I was wrong, why would I do that. I am right you are wrong but you are unable to comprehend.

    Your logic if taken to the extreme is absurd, you changed the reasons the officer listed and then justified what he did by changing the narrative. Then you go on and attack the media, wonder where I see that all the time.

    Yes, I understand that the election of Trump has made it cool for racists and bigots to crawl out of the dark. Pardon my words but some of them were borrowed by the way racists and bigots describe people that really did not make America great.

    Did you see the face of the guy that attempted to blow an Oklahoma bank? That is the face of most of the terrorists in this country. http://newsok.com/article/5560067

  28. neither here nor there says:

    Oh Bill, look at that face because that is what the face of most killings of officers look like.


    Let up point fingers where they need to be pointed.

  29. Steve Houston says:

    Ross, SB4 makes those policies illegal so that really isn’t applicable but the local police management workaround to prevent officers from asking the question is to require the officers write a full report that includes the reasons why they asked. While I tend to agree with you the law is probably bad policy, just like I always have, barring very narrow circumstances, most cops aren’t going to want to write a report for no good reason. Sheriff Gonzalez and police chief Acevedo have made it clear that they will severely punish any of their troops engaging in illegal traffic stops too, I’m willing to bet both groups will be reminded during their required yearly training. On a side note, police have long been able to ask that question when someone was arrested for something more important than a traffic ticket, something about giving the court notice to be able to comply with various treaties, not like most countries will assist in defending their criminals committing crimes here but it has been common practice.

    Manny “Black folks have it much worse they stand a good chance of being shot” Barrera/NHNT: Feel free to avail yourself of FBI’s statistics and reports as you see fit (and it wasn’t an “Obama” study, it was an FBI study done while Obama was president, that came out after the Ferguson situation (English really is your second language, isn’t it?). Since you are unwilling to answer my questions, I feel no driving need to answer yours. But just to help you out with your belief in anecdotal accounts, go look up “Perils of police action: a cautionary tale from US data sets”by Miller, et al where the conclusion was “While minorities were more likely to be stopped/arrested by police, the probability of being killed/injured during a stop/arrest did not vary by race.” That is without SB4 by the way, a law you can’t seem to figure out how it will change any of the societal ills you bemoan above. You never got around to telling the world what chance constitutes a “good chance” but given the sheer number of traffic stops and other encounters versus the total number of police shootings, “good” is not a realistic number. Once you factor out the cases where the person shot was armed and acting in a threatening manner, those with mental illness acting in a threatening manner, and those engaged in a felony crime, the chance of being shot by the cops is pretty low but you already knew that.

    Admittedly, your inability to face the facts and employing childish logic such as ” I am right you are wrong” doesn’t live up to the level of a real conversation, but Bill knew that I’m sure. And Bill never changed his claim on why the guy in the video was stopped because that was what the cop and reporter both agreed happened in the edited encounter. Maybe your expertise in parking adjudication could have come in handy at the location given the man was stopped in a moving lane of traffic.

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