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Students in Mumbai celebrate their U.S. visas. Photo: Pratik Chorge / Hindustan Times / Getty

For decades, the U.S. has been the No. 1 destination for international students seeking a foreign college or graduate school education. The U.K. has been second. But in recent years, China has suddenly appeared in the No. 3 slot, and Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education, tells Axios that it is on track to overtake the U.K. and capture No. 2 this year.

Why it matters: A large percentage of entrepreneurs and workers in the U.S. tech industry is foreign-born, many of them former students at U.S. universities. President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and mass shootings are deterring a still-unknown number of international students from studying in the United States.

  • "We have a real competition for international students," Goodman said.
  • Canada and France have made big pushes to attract those students, in addition to top-tier international graduates of U.S. programs, to work in their tech and science-based industries.
  • But less attention has been paid to China, which has put billions of dollars behind goals of dominating future industries around artificial intelligence, quantum computing and electric cars.

It's not clear where this fresh influx of students is from. Until 2015, the latest data available, South Koreans were the vast majority of international students in China, with Americans right behind them, according to the IIE.

Go deeper

60 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: It means former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

2 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.