Despite a peak in overall graduate student enrollment in science and engineering in the United States in the fall of 2002, the National Science Foundation (NSF) reports that the number of new foreign graduate students in those fields has declined.

The report found a 5% boost in US citizens and permanent residents in 2002 over 2001. The number of graduate students, 455,400, was a 6% jump over 1993, the previous peak year. There was an 8% overall boost in foreign students who were temporary visa holders.

But there was a drop in full-time, first-time enrollment of foreign graduate students in all major fields except the biological and social sciences. Hardest hit by the decline in foreign students was computer science, which recorded a 15% drop in 2002. That compared with a 7% gain the previous year.

The report also notes an 8% decrease in earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences. And...

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