Natural Sciences Doctoral Attainment by Foreign Students at U.S. Universities

22 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012 Last revised: 30 Apr 2012

Robert V. Hamilton

George Mason University

Connie L. McNeely

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs

Wayne D. Perry

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs

Date Written: February 2, 2012

Abstract

The nearly sixty thousand foreign students who attained natural sciences doctorates at United States (U.S.) universities from 1980 to 2005 are conceptualized and analyzed as a case of highly-skilled migration. Multivariate regression analyses of tendencies for foreign students from over 147 countries and regions to attain doctorates in the natural sciences at U.S. universities indicated a two time-period model corresponding to Cold War and post-Cold War eras. Highly-skilled migration patterns for the purposes of natural sciences doctoral education at U.S. universities appear to have become depoliticized with the end of the Cold War, with U.S. universities acting as de facto recruiters of a globally diverse and talented population of foreign doctoral students for the U.S. scientific workforce. These results also suggest the need for an expanded longitudinal study of this phenomenon, addressing policy implications and measuring global science and technology doctoral education migration networks in light of changing political, social, and economic conditions across countries and regions.

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Robert V. and McNeely, Connie L. and Perry, Wayne D., Natural Sciences Doctoral Attainment by Foreign Students at U.S. Universities (February 2, 2012). GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 2012-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1999816 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1999816

Robert V. Hamilton (Contact Author)

George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Connie L. McNeely

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs ( email )

4400 University Dr., MS 3B1
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
United States

Wayne D. Perry

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-2276 (Phone)

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