America is in a race for high-tech supremacy with China. The issue isn't whether U.S. colleges and universities are training students and Ph.D's in computer science and engineering and the physical sciences. It's whether enough of them are American students.
Leading trends in higher education suggest that the U.S. is fast approaching a STEM crisis like no other—one that systematically benefits foreign countries and companies, at the expense of our own.
The leading competitor is China. The World Economic Forum calculates that China had at least 4.7 million recent STEM grads as of 2016; India had 2.6 million as of 2017; the U.S. pulls in at third at 568,000. That puts the U.S. about equal with India for STEM grads per population.
Last year, 62 percent of all international students in U.S. colleges and universities were in science and engineering fields. Almost 70 percent of those were from either India or China.
Meanwhile, it's true that STEM grads are increasing as a percentage of American university and college grads. But a dwindling number of those students are Americans themselves.
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