The number of Chinese student visas to the U.S. dropped by more than 50% in the first six months of this year, compared to pre-pandemic levels, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The newspaper, citing figures from the U.S. State Department, noted that in the first half of 2022, 31,055 F-1 visas were issued by the U.S. to Chinese nationals — a decrease from 64,261 for the same period in 2019.
The figures show the U.S. is losing ground as the most coveted place for Chinese students to pursue a college education.
The drop in the number of visas also has hit revenue for U.S. colleges and universities, according to the Journal.
About 415 Chinese students were enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the fall of 2021, a drop of 66% from its high of 1,234 during the fall of 2016. The school expects the numbers to be flat or down slightly this fall.
"We're probably not going to rebound fully to where we were before," said Josh Davis, associate vice chancellor for global affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. "This is the new reality."
Indiana University enrolled slightly less than 1,600 students from China in spring 2022, just shy of half of its 2015 total, school data show.
"The message is kind of inescapable for students," said John Wilkerson, associate vice president for international services at the school. "I think it had a deleterious effect at all levels."
China has been the lead source of international students to the U.S. for over the past 10 years, the Journal noted.
But even before the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese students were looking elsewhere for higher education. The Journal said the shift was due to doubts by the students about whether they would be welcome in the U.S. Safety concerns during the pandemic also increased the rate of decline.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said in an interview in 2020 that Chinese students looking to study in the U.S. should only be able to learn the Humanities, not the sciences, as a form of retribution for the coronavirus outbreak.
Fred Fleitz, former National Security Council chief of staff, had told Newsmax in 2020 that Cotton had a "good idea" in suggesting the U.S. withhold visas for Chinese students looking to study the sciences.
Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.
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