Jacob Feldgoise

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Jacob Feldgoise was a Semester Research Analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), focused on U.S.-China S&T competition and the global movement of emerging technologies talent. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Policy & Management and a B.S. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy with a minor in Chinese Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Previously, he interned with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where he worked on a high-profile investor defraudment investigation. Following that, he studied in Shanghai on a Boren STEM Scholarship, where he participated in an intensive language-learning program. On campus, he has researched the energy efficiency of drone package delivery with the Air Lab as well as various decision science questions with the Center for Behavioral and Decision Research.

In recent years, concern has grown about the risks of Chinese nationals studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at U.S. universities. This data brief estimates the number of Chinese students in the United States in detail, according to their fields of study and degree level. Among its findings: Chinese nationals comprise 16 percent of all graduate STEM students and 2 percent of undergraduate STEM students, lower proportions than were previously suggested in U.S. government reports.

CSET research sheds light on the backgrounds and career paths of nearly 3,600 awardees in China’s Youth Thousand Talents Plan. While concerns over China’s recruitment of science and technology experts for military-supporting roles are legitimate, this brief finds that the vast majority of YTTP awardees receive civilian-oriented job offers.

Policymakers continue to debate the ability of the United States to attract and retain top international talent. This Issue Brief assesses how many international Ph.D. graduates across various STEM fields and nationalities intend to stay in the United States after completing their degrees.