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Decline in international student visas concerns UA

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-18 01:23:05-04

 A sharp decline in the number of international student visas across the country. That's bad news for the University of Arizona that has a large international student population. 

According to University administrators, the drop has not been as dramatic at UA compared to other universities and colleges in the country. In fact most international student numbers overall are pretty much the same from last year.    

Here's a breakdown of the numbers provides to KGUN9 by UA:

Fall 2016

Undergraduate degree-seeking: 2275
Graduate degree-seeking: 1514
Professional degree-seeking: 38
Undergraduate non-degree-seeking: 83
Graduate non-degree-seeking: 38

Fall 2017

Undergraduate degree-seeking: 2339
Graduate degree-seeking: 1562
Professional degree-seeking: 31
Undergraduate non degree-seeking: 473 (Increase due to 370+ students enrolled at micro-campuses in Cambodia or China)
Graduate non-degree-seeking: 38

For new freshmen, UA is down a bit, with the number of international freshmen dropping by nearly 50% this year. 

Here is the breakdown:


2016: 464
2017: 279

A university administrator tells me the drop is due to a number of reasons. "I think it's a combination of things, an issue of politics and national rhetoric and what people believe is accepting and not accepting in the U.S, " the university's Office of Global Initiatives interim vice president Suzanne Panferov Reese, said. 

One of her main concerns is the decline in visa approvals for students from Asia, particularly China and IndiA, which typically account for the largest number of F-1 visas in the country. Panferov reese predicts things might get worse before getting better. She expects a sharper drop in the next three years. However, the university is preparing by planning ahead, making sure international students feel welcome and by introducing  several international micro-campuses where students are also able to get the UA experience from their home country.  Here are some details