Gullible University Presidents Advocate Bringing More Indian Students
A delegation of 15 university presidents who visited India between Nov 15 and 22 to recruit foreign students needs a strong reminder about who pays their bills and to whom they owe allegiance.
The group claims that foreign students provide economic and diplomatic benefits to Canada, improve dynamics in the classroom and deepen research and business ties between India and Canada. And the group thinks that Canada should have more foreign students.
Before leaving India, the university presidents announced that they would be offering $4 Million in scholarships to Indian students.
In 2009, Canada had about 90,000 foreign post-secondary students out of a total of 900,000. It had another 90,000 foreign secondary students.
Foreign students comprise an average of 10% of post-secondary students.Their proportion is much higher at some universities and is very large in some departments. Canada has 95 universities and colleges.
Here are a few points most of the presidents should begin pondering immediately :
(1) Canadians expect university presidents to be leaders, but many merely repeat the nonsense of the immigration industry. Foreign students are not a large part of Canada’s immigration program, but both they and regular immigration are the main reasons, for example, why the student population at UBC is now about 54% Asian. Furthermore, UBC President Stephen Toope has stated that UBC will take even more foreign students. In his words, “Diversity is a key to (students’) future well-being.” To UBC, U of T and other students who already feel they are being ethnically-cleansed by unnecessary immigration and foreign student programs, saying this is like erecting the slogan, “Work Will Set You Free” at Auschwitz.
(2) Contrary to what the foreign student industry says, it is unclear whether foreign student programs are profitable for Canada. Bonnie Patterson, President of the Council of Ontario Universities and former head of Trent University, but not a part of the India junket, has stated that foreign student tuition fees “are not money-makers”. Yet, a 2007 Dalhousie University survey of Canadian universities found that 62% of universities said that generating revenue was a major reason for wanting to have more foreign students. Have university president’s examined what Ms. Patterson has said? Do university presidents know what they are talking about?
(3) A July 2009 report done for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to determine the economic impact of foreign students is flawed. It considers only what students spent, not their costs to universities. It states that Canada’s 178,227 foreign students (both secondary and post-secondary) spent about $6.5 Billion on tuition, accommodation and other expenses in 2008. The big question is this : Did it produce a profit? Ontario Premier McGuinty seems to have used that 2009 report to decide that Ontario will increase foreign student enrollment by 18,000 over the next 5 years. He claims that this new policy will build the Ontario economy and bring needed revenue to the post-secondary system.
However, the report does not consider, for example, where the students’ money came from, that is whether those students were actually spending Canadian taxpayer dollars. For example, the provinces provide many scholarships to foreign students. In fact, Mr. McGuinty has recently announced in China that Ontario will provide 75 doctoral students from abroad with scholarships ($40,000 per year) to study here. This money is part of a four-year, $30 million program to attract foreign talent to Ontario.
(4) The foreign student program has been corrupted. Most Canadians would approve of Canada helping a number of poor foreign students so that they can return to their countries and help their fellow citizens. However, as in the UK, visa colleges here exist as fronts for illegal immigration. In addition, many Canadian universities consider the foreign student program as an immigration program. Contrary to the results of well-respected research, the universities boast that these foreign students will help Canada to solve aging society problems, and provide Canada with revenue to balance its books. Citizenship and Immigration contributes to the corruption by encouraging foreign students to apply for immigration status. Once foreign students receive a Permanent Resident card, they no longer have to pay higher tuition. In Australia, tens of thousands of foreign students used the foreign student program to become immigrants. These students enrolled in courses such as hair-dressing and cooking to satisfy entry requirements. However, Australia did not need thousands of extra hair-dressers or cooks. Similar corruption is happening here.
(5) Tuition costs in many other countries are subsidized for all students. In the U.S., Harvard University economist George Borjas has stated that no student, foreign or local, pays enough in tuition to cover the actual cost of (his/her) education — all college and university students are subsidized by taxpayers. Yet, the U.S. Institute of International Education (IIE), an advocacy group, makes claims like those in Canada.
David North, former Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, and an immigration policy researcher for several decades, answers the IIE in “Who Pays? Foreign Students Do Not Help with Balance of Payments” : “It has been argued for years that foreign students contribute to America’s balance of payments because of money they bring with them from abroad. But the calculations ignore the massive, partially hidden subsidies to higher education coming from American tax dollars and endowment funds. The calculations supporting the balance-of-payments argument use highly questionable data-collection techniques. And other stronger, studies show that foreign students make heavy use of U.S. funds to support their graduate educations.”
(6) Many Canadian students are experiencing serious difficulties. According to some parents, many are facing great competition from unnecessary immigrants to get into post-secondary programs. Many who are in post-secondary institutions are accumulating a large amount of debt. Because of the current recession and competition from unnecessary immigrants and unnecessary Temporary Foreign Workers, many students could not find summer jobs this year and many who have graduated are finding severe problems finding permanent jobs. One in four is staying at home well into their late-20’s or early 30’s, not for cultural reasons, but because they are poor and the prospects of being economically independent are slim. If anyone in Canada should be aware of these problems, it should be university presidents. These people live off Canadian taxpayers, yet their actions are arrogant and contemptuous of Canadian students.
(7) Statements recently made by David Johnston (former head of Waterloo University and now Canada’s Governor General), UBC’s Toope and other university administrators illogically assume that the intangible benefits of contacts with students from other countries (classroom dynamics, business ties, etc.) are large and should outweigh many factors. Most people will agree that social contacts that students make at any post-secondary institution have value. But are contacts with non-Canadians superior in any way? If university presidents want to make that claim, they must show the proof. Let them reveal it in a university hall meeting filled with their debt-burdened and unemployed graduates. Let’s close the doors and see what happens.
1. The Canadian study was titled “Economic Impact Of International Education In Canada”. It was prepared by Roslyn Kunin and Associates of Vancouver in July 2009. It is available at http://www.international.gc.ca/education/impact.aspx?lang=eng
2. The American study, “Who Pays? Foreign Students Do Not Help with Balance of Payments” was prepared by David North for the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. It is available at http://www.cis.org/foreign_students.html
3. Dr. George Borjas’ “An Evaluation Of The Foreign Student Program” was published in July 2002 and is available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=320248
4. “Watch Your Mouth-You Are In A Canadian University Now” is a Weekly Bulletin on the IWC web site. It is relevant to the material in this bulletin. It is available at http://www.immigrationwatchcanada.org/2010/01/09/watch-your-mouth-you-are-in-a-canadian-university-now/