Plans of Foreign Ph.D. Candidates:

Postgraduate Plans of U.S. Trained Foreign Students in Science/Engineering

RCED-86-102FS: Published: Feb 19, 1986. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed whether foreign students who earn Ph.D.'s in the United States in scientific or engineering fields remain in the United States after receiving their doctorates.

GAO found that: (1) the proportion of foreign students who are candidates for Ph.D.'s in science and engineering has increased over the last two decades; (2) 60 percent of the foreign students who trained in the United States at a doctoral level planned to remain in the United States after receiving their Ph.D.'s; (3) in 1984, 96 percent of students with a permanent visa and 53 percent of those holding temporary visas planned to remain in the United States; (4) the greatest increase in foreign Ph.D. candidates remaining in the United States has been among temporary visa holders; (5) National Science Foundation data indicated that the increase was due to employment with academic, industrial, and other U.S. institutions; and (6) students on temporary visas are a steadily increasing percentage of total foreign students.

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