SAN FRANCISCO, June 4 – International students in the United States help enhance U.S. competitiveness and economic growth, a U.S. business leader told Xinhua on Tuesday.
“I am an educator. I go around the world teaching entrepreneurship and teaching innovation. I’m really strongly a proponent of open education,” said Steve Hoffman, a veteran investor, and CEO of Founders Space, a leading incubator and accelerator in Silicon Valley.
According to Hoffman, international students usually pay higher tuition, which helps to fund U.S. colleges to offer scholarships to local students.
If highly educated foreign students want to work here and contribute their talents, they should be encouraged, said Hoffman.
“What we want are more educated, thoughtful people with international perspectives. In Silicon Valley, we have people from all over the world,” he said. “In fact, our entrepreneurial engine has been built on entrepreneurs coming from abroad.”
“That is what is driving the growth right now. That is what is allowing America to be so competitive,” he added.
In his interview with Xinhua, Hoffman expressed his concern about the spillover effect from the trade disputes between the United States and China.
“We shouldn’t unfairly restrict students of a specific nationality from studying here … that’s very un-American,” said Hoffman.
The U.S. government has recently tightened visa control for students from some countries, which many feared would hamper the free exchange of people between countries.
China’s Ministry of Education on Monday warned Chinese students and scholars of the risks of going to study in the United States, citing U.S. visa restrictions, urging them to step up risk assessment and prepare accordingly.
“The bilateral educational exchanges and cooperation have become complicated under the backdrop of the China-U.S. economic and trade frictions,” said Xu Yongji, a ministry official in charge of international cooperation, at a press conference in Beijing.