I would like to inform you of the situation relevant to Chinese graduate students here, at least at our department, which makes it very difficult for us to accept graduate students from China in the future.
Over about one year period, we have had 6 Chinese Ph.D. students quit their
RAship and Ph.D. studies. The reason for them to leave was not that they
could not continue, it was rather because they want to have a job now (a higher salary, with a hope that the companies will apply for their green card status. They came with thier promises to pursue their Ph.D. degrees, we paid tuition for them to take courses for their Master degree, and we taught and helped them in their research capabilities. Once they got their M.S. degree in Mechanical Engeering, because of the excellent job market in the U.S. at this time, it is relatively easy for them to find a job. In a way we felt that we were used as a step for those Chinese students to come here, and get their master's degree, then get their jobs. We pay approximately $45-50 K/year for each Ph.D. student, including the tuition, health insurance, various fees, lab and computer fees, and monthly salary, we also put a lot of time and efforts for them. They (most of them) also did good research work as assistants. However, we don't get credit because we don't produce PH.D's, which is one of our major purposes as an institution of high education. On the other hand, they have their particular interests which are also understandable, for example, financial pressure, and wishes to have their green card applications on the way asap.
This situation also happened to my Chinese Ph.D.student. He is very talented and did a good job in research. However, after he got his M.S. in M.E., he resigned very recently. We still let him stay here presently (with salary) for one more month, otherwise he will have to repay his tuition, which is over $10K. Although we are very considerate for those students, the consequences are obvious:
(1) It greatly degraded the reputation of Chinese graduate students who
apply for admission. Some professors address those as "very unethical", "you
really cannot trust them when they promise you to pursue their Ph.D. degrees; under your supervision", " you feel you are so stupid as cheated by your own student". It really created some resentment. Actually, I know, as of this time, there are a couple of more students looking for a job or already got a
job offer, but not telling their advisors. They will quit at the last minute before they leave. This situation will certainly get backfired, and the damage will mostly be transferred onto the future applicants from China.
(2) Some professors or research scientists have already made their decisions not to consider Chinese student applications. Although it should not and cannot be a policy, it is the individual's decision in selecting future. Ph.D. students with preference, and in my opinion, with good reasons. It will make it much more difficult for us to bring in Ph.D. students from China. For example, as you know, I was looking for one or two Ph.D. students later this year, and I have a vacancy for a Ph.D. student now. But I will not consider Chinese applicants. At the same time I feel truely sorry, for I know, especially many graduate students from Tsinghua University of very high qualifications sent email applications to me (and to other professors), including yourself. Now I have to inform you that please try your applications elsewhere, or other professors.
In our department, many Chinese graduate students know me and we have a very friendly relationships. The faculty members know that too. One told me: "You try to help them, then they screw you up!" I spent time to write this email message, for your information and considerations, as to how this situation may be somehow alleviated. You may discuss this with your close friends and classmates, I am not sure you should broadly propagate this message. But I did present a fact and an opinion.