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FIGURE 9-2 China and European Union production of science and engineering doctorates compared with US production, 1975-2010.

SOURCE: R. B. Freeman. Does Globalization of the Scientific/Engineering Workforce Threaten US Economic Leadership? Working Paper 11457. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2005. Ratio of PhDs Granted

  • After a decline of 6% from 2001 to 2002, first-time, full-time enrollment of students with temporary visas fell 8% in 2003.52

  • Snapshot surveys indicate international graduate student enrollments decreased again in 2004 by 6%53 but increased by 1% in 2005.

  • In the early 1990s, there were more science and engineering students from China, South Korea, and Taiwan studying at US universities than there were graduates in those disciplines at home. By the mid-1990s, the number attending US universities began to decline and the number studying in Asia increased significantly.54

PCAST observes, “While not in imminent jeopardy, a continuation of current trends could result in a breakdown in the web of ‘innovation ecosystems’ that drive the successful US innovation system.”55 Economist Ri-




H. Brown. Council of Graduate Schools Finds Declines in New International Graduate Student Enrollment for Third Consecutive Year. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools, November 4, 2004; H. Brown. 2005. Findings from 2005 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey III: Admissions and Enrollment. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools. Available at:


The Task Force on the Future of US Innovation. The Knowledge Economy: Is the United States Losing Its Competitive Edge, Benchmarks for Our Innovation Future. Washington, DC: The Task Force on the Future of US Innovation, February 2005.


President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Sustaining the Nation’s Innovation Ecosystems, Information Technology Manufacturing and Competitiveness, Washington, DC: White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, December 2004. P. 13.

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