The National Foundation for American Policy, a nonprofit organization focusing on issues relating to immigration, the economy and international trade, released a report in October 2017 about the number of international students enrolled in STEM graduate programs at American universities.
The report looked at full-time enrollment in graduate programs between 1995 and 2015. In programs such as electrical engineering, computer science and civil engineering, international students make up the vast majority. In 2015, for example, 81 percent of the 40,519 graduate students enrolled in electrical engineering master’s and doctoral programs were foreign students. In computer science programs, 79 percent of the 58,329 students are international.
The report argues that foreign students are vital to keeping these programs in American universities, even as American students flock to other disciplines. Additionally, they are critical to continued research and research support at U.S. institutions.