Phi Beta Cons

More Chinese Students — Improving Diversity or Improving the Bottom Line?

On Minding the Campus, John Rosenberg writes about the amazing increase in the number of Chinese students (no, not Americans of Chinese ancestry, but students from China) at the University of Illinois. Linking to an Inside Higher Ed story, John points out that in 2006, there were only 20 Chinese students at the university; this year, about 600, or ten percent of the incoming class. U of I actually held three orientation sessions in China for these students. Seems like an unnecessary expense for the flagship university in a state with a horrible budget problem. Ah, but maybe it pays off because the school will pocket far more tuition dollars from the foreigners than it would from Illinois residents.

Another aspect of this is the ever-present “diversity” obsession. Rosenberg asks, “Should foreign women who are in this country only temporarily be counted toward ‘compliance’ with the ‘goals’ recommended by the Academies? Insofar as it is necessary to displace some men to make room for more women, should American males be displaced to make room for foreign females? And why should both American males and females be displaced to make room for our future Chinese competitors?”

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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