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Opinion
Virginia Postrel

Is the U.S. Losing the War for Global Talent?

A Q&A with author Rajika Bhandari on why outdated immigration policies are harming America’s ability to attract and retain foreign students.

Foreign students have changed U.S. colleges for the better, and vice versa.

Foreign students have changed U.S. colleges for the better, and vice versa.

Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This is one of a series of interviews by Bloomberg Opinion columnists on how to solve the world’s most pressing policy challenges. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Virginia Postrel: You came to the U.S. as a graduate student in psychology in 1992 and worked for many years at the Institute of International Education, as well as other jobs in international education. Your new book, “America Calling,” is a memoir of your own experiences and a report on the general state of foreign students in the U.S. How is the experience of current students different today from when you came?

Rajika Bhandari, author, “America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility”: Students are quite different in how they’re approaching the idea of a foreign credential. They’re seeing it from the perspective of a very savvy consumer. Should I go to the U.S.? Is that the best return on investment for my family’s money? Or am I going to go to the U.K. or some other country? Students are armed with information in a way that they never were before.