Thursday, October 22, 2009

Killing the golden goose

Great WSJ op-ed by MIT president Susan Hockfield on how our immigration policies are going to limit growth and innovation in the future. The majority of our new PhDs in the sciences and engineering are born overseas and increasingly they are returning to their home countries rather than staying in the US. A further problem: the US is losing its advantage in education to other countries (other countries are ramping up higher education, whereas US enrollments are stagnant). Hockfield supports policies that would encourage more Americans to get science and engineering PhDs while at the same time allowing more foreign graduates from our schools to stay here after they graduate.

True story: in the Czech Republic two years ago my wife and I had a cab driver who said he was being allowed to immigrate to the US because he had family in Chicago. Do we really have all of the scientists we need, but happen to be short on cab drivers?

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