Tighter Visa Restrictions Dramatically Decreased Research Capability in USA

Foreign-born researchers are significant contributors to U.S. science and technology endeavors.  In fact, between 1990 and 2004, more than one-third of all Nobel prizes in the United States have gone to foreign-born recipients.  The success of many U.S. universities and research institutions depends on attracting the best and brightest students both at home and abroad.  After tighter visa restrictions were enforced following the Sept. 11 attacks, international student enrollment decreased dramatically.  Although some visa restrictions have been lifted and foreign enrollment is again on the rise, the visa clearance process should continue to be monitored, the report says. Report: Science and Security in a Post 9/11 World: A Report Based on Regional Discussions Between the Science and Security Communities.

To strengthen the essential role that science and technology play in maintaining national and economic security, the United States should ensure the open exchange of unclassified research despite the small risk that it could be misused for harm by terrorists or rogue nations, says a new report by the National Research Council.  Because science and technology are truly global pursuits, U.S. universities and research institutions must continue to welcome foreign-born science and engineering students, said the committee of former national security leaders and senior university researchers and administrators that wrote the report.

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