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More Malaysians study in US

Thursday January 3, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of Malaysian students going to the United States last year was the highest in the last five years, much to the delight of the US Embassy here.

US ambassador to Malaysia James Keith said 33,000 visas in total were given to Malaysians in 2007, and of this, 1,642 were student visas.

“This is an increase of about 19% from the previous year, when 1,384 student visas were approved.

“I think you will all be very happy with your choice to study in the United States, which provides some of the best opportunities for higher education in the world,” he told a group of 18 Malaysian students before handing them their visas yesterday.

The embassy’s Consul-General Andrew T. Miller said the number of student visas approved in 2005 was 1,274, 1,322 in 2004 and 1,479 in 2003.

“In the 1980s, we had 17,000 Malaysian students in the US, but Sept 11 has certainly been a big blow to us.

“One of the reasons why the numbers dropped in the last few years was because people thought they weren’t going to get through our security clearance process,” he said.

“We want to remind everyone that our security process is now easier, unlike the visa interview five or six years ago. What students might have gone through then is very different from processes and systems in 2007,” he said.

Miller added that a student visa application could now be completed in four days.

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