The government is set to review the high-skills H-1B visa program as part of its “Hire American” push.
Here is the disconnect: International students in Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math (STEM) earned more than 80 percent of all graduate electrical engineering degrees at 36 U.S. programs, according to the National Science Foundation for American Policy.
In seven such programs, including the University of Texas at Arlington and the State University of New York at Buffalo, they earned 90 percent of all such degrees.
Even MIT, which attracts the top U.S.- born students, granted 52.5 percent of its electrical engineering and 35.3 percent of its computer science advanced degrees to international students in 2014, the latest such figures available. Stanford University had similar data.
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International students make up just 5 percent of U.S. college enrollment.
Meanwhile, the 2015 Program for International Student Assessments places the United States at 38th in math and 24th in science out of 71 countries.
The data tells us what many U.S. companies already know: The STEM pipeline needs more Americans. Educate Americans first, and then you can hire American.