International student enrollment at the University of Oregon dropped for the second year in a row — representing a more than $6 million decrease in annual revenue.
The latest numbers are for the student count as of November, and include undergraduate, graduate and law school students.
World economics and American national politics probably combined to cause the drop in students from foreign countries, said Chakris Kussalanant, Office of International Affairs spokesman at university.
“There’s no denying that the current government administration has made the United States not appear a very welcoming place for a lot of foreigners,” he said.
President Trump has imposed a travel ban or restrictions on citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as some people from Venezuela.
In all, 41 students at the UO this fall came from countries that now are subject to the travel ban , Kussalanant said, primarily citizens of Iran in the Middle East.
Iran is the only country among those targeted by the travel ban to be in the top 10 of international student enrollment at the UO. The country had 29 citizens enrolled at the UO this fall, Kussalanant said, putting it ninth on the university’s list. China has the most citizens enrolled at the UO, with 1,805.
The UO had 2,698 total international students enrolled as of this past November, according to the university. The total student population this fall was 22,980.
In fall 2016, the UO had 3,013 foreign students, 315 more than this fall.
Just a few years ago, in fall 2015, the UO had 3,271 international students — 573 more than this fall.
Fewer international students mean less tuition and fee revenue, about $6.1 million less a year, UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said. This school year, international students at the university are paying a combined $85.9 million. The larger group of international students last school year paid a combined $92 million.
Drops in international student enrollment at other institutions around the country have contributed to budget cuts at those institutions, according to published reports.
Wright State University in Ohio is cutting French horn and tuba professors, and Kansas State University is cutting Italian classes, according to the reports.
But at the UO, the drop in international students and the corresponding tuition revenue drop hasn’t led to any specific budget cuts, Klinger said.
China, where most UO international students come from, is not subject to Trump’s travel ban — but the U.S. political climate most likely is chilling interest in studying in America among Chinese citizens, Kussalanant said. China also is suffering from economic problems, he added, a factor in the decline of students coming to the UO from China.
“If a country as big and populous as China has these problems and contracts economically, it becomes less and less likely for parents to be able to afford to send their children to study abroad,” he said.
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The top 10 countries from which University of Oregon international students come, and the student population this fall.