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Preventing individuals from countries that the United States considers to support terrorism from studying in the United States would have a minimal effect on US Ph.D. production, according to a group of US researchers.

In a letter published in the 22 March issue of Science, Paula Stephan from Georgia State University, United States and colleagues present statistics on the number of temporary residents who received US doctorates in science and engineering between 1981 and 1999.

They find that doctorates received by nationals of countries described by the United States as “sponsors of terrorism” — Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria — accounted for only 0.7 per cent of all degrees awarded in that time period.

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Link to letter by Paula Stephan et al