Decreased number of LIS international students

IIE Network released the report on the number of foreign students in the US. What is interesting to me is the numbers of foreign students in Library Science.

The number of students come to the States to study library and archival science is quite small, less than 1,000 or about 0.1% of the total number. Why is it relatively small? What brings those international student come to the States for library science degree? I don’t think library profession worldwide is much less than other field of study. The number is even decreasing, from 742 in 2003/2004 to 638 in 2004/2005. What about foriegn LS students in other developed countries (e.g. UK and Australia)?

After seeing the decrease of library science students, my first impression was the number of the students might transfer to information science. However, the no. of international students in computer/information sciences, according to the report, decreased much more than one in LS. The number droped over 32.5% (nearly 10,000 students).

Well, beside the tighter immigration policy, what are these factors?

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