America’s STEM Shortage I: Hardline immigration policy is challenging the future of international students

In the first of a 3 part series, WES investigates how hardline immigration policy is challenging the future of international students in the US and the potential consequences of this shift in policy on the nation’s long-term STEM innovation.

The United States’  ability to attract the best and brightest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)  fields from around the world has provided it with a  competitive edge for the past half-century, yet this edge is at risk. 

Recent administrations have frequently bemoaned an ongoing shortage of STEM graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated there will be 1 million job openings in computer occupations alone. Last year, the Trump Administration directed the Department of Education to make promoting high-quality STEM education a top priority.

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America’s STEM shortage III: How can Skilled Immigration Reform propel technological progress?

As the US makes it harder for universities to attract foreign students, other countries are working to enroll more of them; this could be detrimental to the nation’s long-term innovation, start-up investment, and output-capacity.  

Evidence that the US is losing its luster to competitors comes from comparative changes in international student numbers. Although the U.S. retains the most international students across undergraduate and graduate education as a gross total, within the period 2016-8 this figure grew by only 4.9% in this period, lagging  behind both Canada (which increased 39.5% in this period) and Australia (which increased by  25.5%)

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America’s STEM shortage II: Why high-skilled immigrants are vital for innovation

Mounting visa problems and other obstacles are making it harder for talented students and skilled workers to enter the US, depriving the nation of the brainpower required to succeed in a fast-moving world built upon collaborative technological progress. 

Challenging conventional wisdom

Critical to embracing immigration reform is challenging the conventional notion that skilled-immigration unfairly increases competition and depresses the earnings to American workers in STEM.

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The New European Tech Doctrine Part 1: Why Silicon Valley is starting to feel the burn from European regulators

On March 30th, the European Union’s Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager ordered the tech-conglomerate Google to pay a $1.7 billion fine for ‘abusing its position in online search advertising’. The European Commission reported that Google had aimed to shield itself from competitive pressure; the firm had imposed restrictive exclusivity clauses in AdSense contracts, blocking its rivals from placing ads on 3rd Party websites. The penalty was the third in a series of billion-dollar antitrust violations delivered by Europe to Google since 2018, and indicative of a wider-trend of European regulation against rapidly-growing technology companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon.

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Romania: Bringing Europe into the future or holding it back?

2019 marks a momentous year for Romania’s past, present and future. Three decades ago, the Berlin wall was torn down, opening the iron curtain and beginning the country’s rapid modernization process.  January 1st this year, Bucharest kicked off its 6-month presidency of the European Council, drawing the spotlight to the uncertain state of its domestic democracy and rule of law. And yet, as a leader in technology and cybersecurity, Romania could prove itself a crucial asset to NATO and the EU’s future as the upcoming European elections make the prospect of Russian cyber attacks ever more likely.

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