We had a riveting presentation at the April AHEAD meeting by Rosie and Lynda of ONU. They spoke about the economic impact of international students on Hardin County, Ohio, and the US. They also spoke about the ways that Trump administration policies hostile to international visitors and residents are affecting students and the university. Some insights:
International students have a positive economic impact. Ohio ranks in #8 among states in receiving international students. For 2015-2016, international students had these impacts locally:
- for Congressional District 5: $60 million, 568 jobs supported
- for ONU: $7.6 million, 50 jobs supported
- NAFSA International Student Economic Value Tool
- NAFSA: how Ohio benefits from international students (2015 data)
- NAFSA: how Ohio District 5 benefits from international students (2015 data)
As a result of the President Trump’s travel ban and related policies, ONU and other Ohio universities are seeing these challenges:
- international applications falling
- current students anxious and disengaged
- challenges with recruiting faculty
- University needing to prepare for visits from ICE, briefing students on their rights.
- for US students traveling abroad, possibility of reciprocal actions by other countries. European Union planning to start requiring visas from US citizens — fewer opportunities for US students abroad.
What can we do? Monitor immigration action happening locally, and when possible, identify opportunities for international students to present to communities.