Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force [October 28, 2010]   [open pdf - 298KB]

"The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. Few will dispute that U.S. universities and industry have chosen foreign talent to fill many positions. Foreign scientists and engineers serve the needs of industry at the doctorate level and also have been found to serve in major roles at the masters level. However, there are charges that U.S. workers are adversely affected by the entry of foreign scientists and engineers, who reportedly accept lower wages than U.S. citizens would accept in order to enter or remain in the United States. NSF data reveal that in 2006, the foreign student population earned approximately 36.2% of the doctorate degrees in the sciences and approximately 63.6% of the doctorate degrees in engineering. In 2006, foreign students on temporary resident visas earned 32.0% of the doctorates in the sciences, and 58.6% of the doctorates in engineering. The participation rates in 2005 were 30.8% and 58.4%, respectively. In 2006, permanent resident status students earned 4.2% of the doctorates in both the sciences and in engineering, a slight change from the 2005 levels of 3.8% in the sciences and 4.4% in engineering."

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CRS Report for Congress, 97-746
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