Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Foreign invasion

... of US colleges.

A good news story in this harsh recession with millions out of work indefinitely.


Reports like these implicitly assume that Americans who read them are nitwits.

Well, that's a bit harsh. They probably just assume that the readers are graduates of US colleges, and perhaps with no better reasoning or reading skills than the people who write these articles.

Take this quote from the story :

“International education is domestic economic development,” Mr. Goodman said. “International students shop at the local Wal-Mart, rent rooms and buy food. Foreign students bring $17.8 billion to this country

They spend almost $18Billion at Wal-Mart ? Or any significant amount of $18Billion there?

I don't think so. The vast majority of this 'domestic economic development' is tuition and college costs. This is a boon for colleges as these students typically pay full freight.

Again, this is another example of journalists not being required to take a math course in their own college educations.

$18 billion divided by 670,000 foreign students is just $27,000 each. Most of this is tuition that goes to colleges. Where do they 'rent rooms and buy food' ? Wow, what a coincidence, again at colleges mostly.

At State schools , collecting $27K a year from a student is a pretty good deal, much higher than what they can charge locals from their states. A good business model.

The old phrase, 'What's good for General Motors is good for the USA' for this article has morphed into 'What's good for American Colleges is good for the USA'. The former was untrue chutzpah as is the the latter now.

And this quote is also inadvertently funny ... more Chinese coming here and shopping at Wal-Mart , where they can buy virtually all Chinese-made goods. How's that for spurring the US economy!

By the way, haven't we been told that all US products are inferior to overseas ones without exception?

Why are US colleges deemed a better product than their foreign 'competitors'?

If they were better then wouldn't these US colleges also be producing some home-grown 'talent' , i.e. graduates ?

Then how come we have such an urgent need to take their graduates to fill our 'skilled' jobs here at home?

Many overseas Universities are 2nd rate ?

Then how come we have such an urgent need to take their graduates to fill our 'skilled' jobs here at home?

November 16, 2009

China Is Sending More Students to U.S.

American universities are enrolling a new wave of Chinese undergraduates, according to the annual Open Doors report.

While India was, for the eighth consecutive year, the leading country of origin for international students — sending 103,260 students, a 9 percent increase over the previous year — China is rapidly catching up, sending 98,510 last year, a 21 percent increase.

“I think we’re going to be seeing 100,000 students from each for years to come, with an increasing share of them being undergraduates,” said Peggy Blumenthal, executive vice president of the Institute of International Education, which publishes the report with support from the State Department.

Over all, the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 8 percent to an all-time high of 671,616 in the 2008-9 academic year — the largest percentage increase in more than 25 years, according to the report.

With the current recession, the influx of international students has been especially important to the American economy, according to Allan E. Goodman, president of the institute.

“International education is domestic economic development,” Mr. Goodman said. “International students shop at the local Wal-Mart, rent rooms and buy food. Foreign students bring $17.8 billion to this country. A lot of campuses this year are increasing their international recruitment, trying to keep their programs whole by recruiting international students to fill their spaces.”

The number of international students exceeded the past peak enrollment year, 2002-3, by 14.5 percent. In 2008-9, undergraduate enrollment rose 11 percent, compared with only a 2 percent increase in graduate enrollment.

In China, that shift has been quite sharp. Last year, China sent 26,275 undergraduates and 57,451 graduate students to the United States — compared with 8,034 undergraduates and 50,976 graduate students five years earlier.

Ms. Blumenthal said the growing share of undergraduates would change the face of the Chinese students’ presence in the United States.

“It used to be that they were all in the graduate science departments, but now, with the one-child policy, more and more Chinese parents are taking their considerable wealth and investing it in that one child getting an American college education,” she said. “There’s a book getting huge play in China right now explaining liberal arts education.”

The book, “A True Liberal Arts Education,” by three Chinese undergraduates from Bowdoin College, Franklin & Marshall College and Bucknell University, describes the education available at small liberal arts colleges, and the concept of liberal arts, both relatively unknown in China.

Meanwhile, many large public universities are devoting new resources to building up their share of international undergraduates. The State University of New York, for example, recently made Mitch Leventhal the vice chancellor for global affairs. Mr. Leventhal, who at the University of Cincinnati helped build a network of ties abroad, expects to increase undergraduate recruiting, especially in India and China.

“There’s growing disposable income in China, and not enough good universities to meet the demand,” he said. “And in China, especially, studying in the United States is a great differentiator, because when students get home, they speak English.”

Although the report tracks only the 2008-9 numbers, a smaller survey by the institute last month found that over all, the increase in international students seems to be continuing, with China remaining strong. Of the institutions surveyed this fall, 60 percent reported an increase in Chinese students, and only 11 percent a decline. In contrast, the number of institutions reporting increases in their enrollment of Indian students equaled the number reporting declines.

The survey also found continuing growth this year in the number of students from the Middle East, and continuing declines in the numbers from Japan.

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