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Education United States Politics

Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense? 689

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-the-parts-that-have-oil dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities,' President Obama explained to the nation Tuesday in his pitch for immigration reform. 'They are earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science...We are giving them the skills to figure that out, but then we are going to turn around and tell them to start the business and create those jobs in China, or India, or Mexico, or someplace else. That is not how you grow new industries in America. That is how you give new industries to our competitors. That is why we need comprehensive immigration reform." If the President truly fears that international students will use skills learned at U.S. colleges and universities to the detriment of the United States if they return home (isn't a rising tide supposed to lift all boats?) — an argument NYC Mayor Bloomberg advanced in 2011 ('we are investing millions of dollars [actually billions] to educate these students at our leading universities, and then giving the economic dividends back to our competitors – for free') — then wouldn't another option be not providing them with the skills in the first place?"
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Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

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  • We have the same... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:07PM (#42742271)

    in France.
    They come, study, get a diploma...
    And go away :)

    For all that time, free university, free medical expenses...

    F*ck socialism, it killed my country.

    • by HuguesT (84078) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:15PM (#42742407)

      Meanwhile, they learn the local language and culture. They are more likely to do business with you. They are more likely to buy your products because they know them. International students are often more motivated to study, lifting the general class level.

      • by Psyborgue (699890) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:21PM (#42742511) Homepage Journal
        This all depends on whether they assimilate or not. Some might very well be internally hostile towards their host country, or at least unwilling to adopt compatible values. In such cases, in a way it's even worse if they stay. This is most not often the case in the US, however. I'd wager most who gain an education here want to stay here and contribute. They should be allowed to.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cayenne8 (626475)
          Hey, all I know is if we had limited the foreigners coming into college when I was there....I might have had a fighting chance to get a physics lab instructor (grad student) that I could have understood when he spoke.

          I was so frustrated, I mean physics to me was hard enough to try to grasp and learn...but having to try to translate what the teacher was saying made it doubly difficult.

          I had to drop and retake a couple of times before I got a grad student who was teaching the class that didn't have an accen

      • by icebike (68054)

        Meanwhile, they learn the local language and culture. They are more likely to do business with you. They are more likely to buy your products because they know them. International students are often more motivated to study, lifting the general class level.

        If they do in fact go home, (highly questionable), they more likely start selling stuff into your country, taking jobs away from locals. Buying stuff from France, (or wherever they were educated is usually not economically possible.

      • Educating the US (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Roger W Moore (538166) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:58PM (#42743127) Journal

        Meanwhile, they learn the local language and culture. They are more likely to do business with you.

        The reverse is also true: US students will learn that there are people outside the US with different cultures and beliefs to their own and that, if they want to do business with them, they will need to take this into account. Since they provide this education for free to US students perhaps the question should be "Does the rest of the world owe the US an education?"...or we could just agree that its a mutually beneficial arrangement that we all learn about different peoples and cultures and leave it at that.

        • by Ocker3 (1232550) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @06:12PM (#42744057)
          Yeah, but your point isn't in the vein of the slightly zenophobic summary, so noone else wants to engage with you *sigh* An educated world is one less likely to have as many terrorists, reactionaries, etc., one more willing to use modern science and medicine to solve problems instead of war, but nooooo, it's too expensive, we should solve our own problems first, other countries should look after themselves *facepalm* Why did Australia build schools in Indonesia under a conservative (for Australia) government? Because the best schools at that time in Indonesia were funded by Muslim Radicals, they had the best teachers, the best facilities, etc., so people sent their kids there even though there was a chance they'd become radicalised and join an extremist group. If you offer a good alternative people will use it. The more educated\experienced people are, the more willing they are on average to sit down to solve problems, education is a way of imbuing people with knowledge from past generations so it doesn't take years of experience for them to realise violence should be a last resort.
        • by arisvega (1414195) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @07:56PM (#42745181)

          and then giving the economic dividends back to our competitors – for free

          US universities charge fees in the six-figure range. How is that 'for free' ?

          perhaps the question should be "Does the rest of the world owe the US an education?"

          And perhaps it should not. Why would it? A non-US citizen in the US barely has any rights, and a visitor is taxed at a flat 30% having to go through excessive paperwork to cut it down to almost 20%. By comparison, A US citizen in, f.i., the EU (and elsewhere) has several, like free (as in 'free beer') medical coverage, legal representation, even psychological support in most member-states, and elsewhere: services for which they would pay dearly in the US. Some have actually complained that they are exempt from the EU unemployment safety net, bitter for not being entitled to 'free money' after a couple of years of employment, and that they have to pay fees for education in EU institutions. Fortunately, they were laughed at, infused by generous doses of 'european' humor.

      • by sycodon (149926) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @05:02PM (#42743191)

        Meanwhile, they learn the local language and culture.

        Wasn't my experience in CA in the 80's

        Self segregating, separate clubs, etc. Some were even hostile...just try getting a date with one of "their" women.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @05:30PM (#42743595)

          Local Junior College in Sacramento had this problem. The Fundie Ukrainians took over the student council and started persecuting people, funding ukrainian-only events, etc. They only got ousted after a rather public expose on this in one of the local newspapers which led to enough of the student body taking notice to vote them out of office (Also helped that volunteers started handling voting outside the usual midday period, which a lot of us missed due to having classes back to back during the voting period.)

          Point being there's a lot of cultural clashes going on across the US, but as much as it could be considered a 'foreigner' problem, it's also a cultural shift towards apathy within the US population itself. It doesn't matter what ethnicity, cultural background, etc, the majority of people have become so lazy and apathetic that until someone makes a big deal out of political shifts that are happening, and it affects them either financially or personally, they won't take action to make any necessary changes to curb other people's anti-social activities, even if it's done using resources that are earmarked for public, rather than 'minority of public' purposes.

    • But as "France" extends halfway around the globe, these people usually are french citizens. Should have thought of that earlier....

    • by Muros (1167213)

      in France. They come, study, get a diploma... And go away :)

      For all that time, free university, free medical expenses...

      F*ck socialism, it killed my country.

      Make that Europe, not just France. We educate them for free, then they go to America because the pay is higher there to compensate for the huge student loans. I don't agree with the "Fuck socialism" sentiment though. Socialism provides all with equal opportunity, something that capitalism purports to but obviously does not. The fix is not to screw over people who get an education but cannot find work and pay off their loans.. the fix is to not saddle people with a massive debt as their introduction to the w

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        Socialism provides all with equal opportunity, something that capitalism purports to but obviously does not.

        Capitalism is equal opportunity. If you chose to not get born into a rich family, that's your fault. Hate the player, not the game.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rincewind42 (973462)

      No they don't. Foreign students (outside the EU) don't get free anything in France. They pay tuition fees and hospital bills.

      For students from other EU coutries it is free but you get the same deal if you go to another EU country. French students in Scotland get free Education and medical care too. Quid pro quo.

    • F*ck socialism, it killed my country.

      And fuck our system it killed my father and numerous other people without health insurance.

  • by sco08y (615665) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:08PM (#42742277)

    Oh, wait, we do.

    • by morcego (260031) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:11PM (#42742317)

      Or make it attractive (and possible) for them to stay in the USA.

      • by rnturn (11092) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:33PM (#42742757)
        What would they do here? It's not like the education they've received is appreciated by American businesses. I just saw an ad for an IT internship that required a Bachelor's degree (Master's degree preferred!). Not working toward the degree... actually had the degree. (My favorite example is the car rental agency that insisted on a four-year degree as a requirement to work the counter at the local agency; I'll bet those grads were glad they busted their tail in college for that plum job.) American corporations are seriously delusional nowadays.
        • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:36PM (#42742807)

          Not delusional - they just have the advantage. They can afford to ask for overqualified candidates, because there is a surplus of applicants at all qualification levels, scrambling over each other in the frantic rush to grab a job - any job at all, so long as it pays the rent.

          • by chihowa (366380) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @05:14PM (#42743377)

            No, delusional. "Overqualified" is usually a bad quality to have in an employee. It means they're not fully using their abilities, will be bored at the job, and will ultimately leave as soon as better prospects present themselves.

            Specifically and deliberately staffing your company with overqualified employees is a recipe for poor performance and high turnover. Anyone who thinks that's a good idea is delusional.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          If they fill the position, they aren't delusional.

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:12PM (#42742359) Homepage

      In fact we charge them outrageous tuitions in many cases. I went to a state university, and our department actively recruited students from India and China because they brought in the most cash.

      For the same reason, there was no outreach to the community college just down the street.

      • by dbet (1607261)
        Yeah, my understanding is that other nations send them here on their dime, specifically so they will come home with that education.
    • by rish87 (2460742)
      Not necessarily. For undergraduates, yes, international students pay a ton of tuition. For Graduate students in these STEM fields, most of them are not paying a dime for school (fellowships/assistantships). However, they are then providing cheap academic labor.
    • yep (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mozumder (178398) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:21PM (#42742523)

      International students are the ones that are paying full price for our universities, and they're the ones that keep our universities funded.

      Universities court international students like it was nobody else's business.

      A good part of the US GDP can be traced to actually selling higher-level education to international students. Consider that each international student brings in $50k+ to the US GDP, and multiply that by the number of students per year. It's easily a bigger industry than Hollywood.

      I'm surprised that Government doesn't allow more sales of education to international students. Our economy could use that money.

      Foreign money really does grow an economy. Consider also that in the 90's, the immigration door was wide open. Millions of people came to America. Now consider that each one needs to buy a house, at $100k+ each... you could pretty much explain the incredible GDP growth back in the 90's by our open border policy back then, and you saw how it hit our economy when we closed the borders after 9/11.

    • by clong83 (1468431) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:35PM (#42742787)
      For undergraduate degrees, yes, we do. But the main point is for advanced degrees in STEM. For graduate students, yes, tuition is still charged. The university gets paid whether you are international or not. The question is: Who pays?

      It may surprise you that most STEM graduate students don't pay for their own tuition. In fact, most get paid out of some grant money somewhere. So, in effect, the American Heart Association, or the National Institutes of Health, or the National Science Foundation, etc, etc, will pay a professor at a university to study a problem. The professor then hires a graduate student to work on said problem. The professor takes the grant money and pays the student's tuition and a small salary. So, in effect, US organizations and taxpayer dollars fund an overwhelming amount of international students. This is fine, the professors, universities, and various agencies want to attract the best talent, and it's a worldwide marketplace.

      Now, the real kicker is that after they graduate with a masters or doctorate, we make it difficult for them to stay here if they want. There should be an easy path in place for recipients of advanced degrees at US universities to stay here if they want. There's not. An awful lot of them are sent back home against their will. So I ask you: What is the point of bringing someone to this country, funding their education, and then demaning that they return home?
      • by JanneM (7445)

        It's worth pointing out that it goes the other way too. Any doctoral student from the US working/studying at a lab somewhere else will most likely be supported by grants to that lab, not with money from the US.

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Right!

      This argument would be pretty sound if the US had free tertiary education. People would come, get an education at the US taxpayers' expense, and leave, benefiting other countries. That would indeed suck.

      However, US tertiary education costs are astronomical, particularly for international students. Assuming they are paying their way (i.e. covering the full cost of delivering their degree), then what's the problem? They inject money into the US economy (both through tuition and simply buying stuff while

  • My View (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:08PM (#42742279)

    For every immigrant that comes over here, we send the "donor" country back one of our citizens. We get an engineer, and they get a TV talk show host or a Senator. Seems like a good trade to me.

    -- MyLongNickName

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yes and here's a freebie

    Does the US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

    • Not to mention that it should be "Does the USA owe the world an education at its expense?". Otherwise it's being read as "Does the us" as in "Does the we".

      I've never understood why english titles capitalize every word either.

      • I've never understood why english titles capitalize every word either.

        Well, not every word. [xkcd.com]

      • Otherwise it's being read as "Does the us" as in "Does the we".

        There is a clear difference between 'US' and 'us': one is a capitalized abbreviation and the other is not so, UNLESS YOU ARE SHOUTING the difference is clear.

        I've never understood why english titles capitalize every word either.

        English titles do not capitalize every word 'small' words like 'a', 'the' and 'of' are not capitalized except at the start of the title. Americans, on the other hand, divided their country into states so they could have more than one capital and have an economy based on capitalism so it's perhaps not surprising that they like to capitalize every word

    • by icebike (68054)

      Yes and here's a freebie

      Does the US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

      Actually, Betteridge [wikipedia.org] suggests the answer is automatically NO.

  • At whose expense? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kervin (64171) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:10PM (#42742313) Homepage

    Just a cursory fact check should inform the "editors" of this article that international students are cash cows in many universities and actually keep many colleges open.

    Ironically the burden is directly the other way around. International students help fund the programs that local residents benefit from.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Just a cursory fact check should inform the "editors" of this article that international students are cash cows in many universities and actually keep many colleges open.

      Yeah, no kidding. My first thought is that the reason the US is investing billions in bringing in foreign students is because the tuition is lucrative.

      Every university seeks out international students -- it's not like the government is paying for their education, they're all paying tuition.

      On the contrary, those students have to buy housin

  • Networking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:15PM (#42742389)

    The best way to avoid a fight with someone is to be friends with them. The first step in becoming friends with someone is actually meeting them.

    Competition between international businesses is much preferable to war between nations.

  • by cmholm (69081) <cmholm AT mauiholm DOT org> on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:16PM (#42742419) Homepage Journal

    The way this submission is crafted invites a flame war, but ok, let's tackle it.

    The submitter is evidently not aware that the vast majority of international students pay full freight and then some when they attend a US school. So, in the small picture, that's why US universities market to them, at a time when US students are having difficulty ponying up (for a variety of reasons), and state legislatures are cutting funding for the public institutions.

    Bigger picture, yes, we're educating the competition, but we're also familiarizing the next world elite with US culture much as the British used to, making the world ever more US-centric. Given the economics for the schools, believe me, these students are going to come. So, we might as well make it easier for them to stay AFTER we've educated them, and thus allow them to add value to the US (culturally, economically) over the long run. If we create the brains, why encourage them drain back out into the world?

    • by Ichijo (607641)

      the vast majority of international students pay full freight and then some when they attend a US school.

      They pay the "full" tuition, but are you sure their tuition isn't subsidized by taxpayers?

      • by Zeromous (668365)

        They pay 3-10X as much to attend North American schools.

      • Possibly, depends on whether their home country gave them a grant or not.

        But, in any case, in most countries it's common practice for citizens to pay, grant/etc subsidized or not, a reduced, possibly subsidized rate for education, and for foreigners to be charged a much, much, higher rate that the institution makes an actual profit on. That appears to be the case in the US.

        The fees foreign students pay subsidize education for Americans. They reduce the amount of money needed by taxpayers to pay to Univ

    • Actually, the global corporationss want them kicked out once they learn. This then provides a low cost pool of skilled workers in the "off-shore" countries.

      Why would Global-Mega-Corp inc. want those skilled workers to stay, where they'd be subject to better pay and conditions? The corporations aren't interested in helping the US/EU/AU/CA economies, they want cheap labour for the bottom line.

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      Bigger picture, yes, we're educating the competition, but we're also familiarizing the next world elite with US culture much as the British used to, making the world ever more US-centric.

      Have you seen our country lately?! The last thing we need is for the rest of the world to become anything like us...

  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:16PM (#42742421)
    Two problems with this outlook:

    1. It misses the benefits of having foreign students in the US, and having our own students exposes to students from other countries without needing to travel (so those who can't afford the time/money to travel still get more exposure). These benefits are far reaching. If we became a country with world class universities closed off to non citizens - we'd rapidly feel a diplomatic bite, and face more insidious harm long term.

    2. A college education is more than just job training, and the perspective and growth it provides are only allocated to a small portion of the populace. We need to be talking about making college as universal, free, and affordable (for society) as high school. Then we'll see some real progress.
    • At the graduate level...most of these international students get a full ride. At least that's how I've seen it done. Nothing wrong with that...let's just make sure we keep them here to make the USA stronger rather than give them the boot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Princeofcups (150855)

      2. A college education is more than just job training, and the perspective and growth it provides are only allocated to a small portion of the populace. We need to be talking about making college as universal, free, and affordable (for society) as high school. Then we'll see some real progress.

      I think that's the main problem. College in the US has become the trade school for high tech jobs and professional sports players. There are still a few universities that emphasize intellectual pursuits above practical ones, but they are usually the most expensive. I don't think I'm the only one seeing the trend that is leading us to the new dark ages. Bread and circuses, as Rome burned.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DerekLyons (302214)

        College in the US has become the trade school for high tech jobs and professional sports players. There are still a few universities that emphasize intellectual pursuits above practical ones, but they are usually the most expensive. I don't think I'm the only one seeing the trend that is leading us to the new dark ages.

        Modern colleges and universities (I.E. pretty much anything from the Middle Ages onwards) historically started as trade schools - and that's what they've been ever since. The purely 'intelle

    • What progress would be served by making college universal, free, and affordable.

      Could it make college less education by dumbing down the degree?

      We already did that with high school to provide universal secondary education. Now you want to make university even dumber. What goal is served here expect that of more paper degrees?

      Most people in today's universities and colleges barely get any real advancement as people due to the mass education of shoving as many people through it as possible.

    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @06:27PM (#42744211)

      #1 is especially great. When I was in grad school for computer science, almost all of the office mates I had over the years were international students from India or China, and we were able to share a couple of great cultural experiences thanks to the time we spent together. While I do have fond memories of coming up with algorithms to solve problems that hadn't been solved yet, I have far more fond memories of us comparing notes and sharing aspects of our cultures.

      For instance, in one conversation I had with an Indian friend, we realized that even though we were both referring to an animal called an "ox", we were talking about very different animals (mine was more like a cow, whereas his was more like a water buffalo). And I remember the shock on his face when, after talking about animals that are local to different regions, I offhandedly mentioned that we don't really have monkeys in America. Despite the fact that he had been living in America for a few years, he apparently hadn't realized he had never seen one in the wild, and that realization came as a complete surprise to him, since he had grown up most of his life with monkeys around him in the same way that I grew up with squirrels around me.

      Then there was the time that my Chinese office mate had me over for dinner with his roommate. To say the least, while I was aware that American Chinese food wasn't authentic, any notions I had left were blown out of the water when they served up that meal. We were able to have a friendly conversation (during which they continually complimented me on my chopstick skills (which I always thought were rather decent), despite the fact that they were easily 3-4x faster than I was with them) about censorship and our perceptions of how each other's governments are engaging in it, which was rather enlightening for both of us. And in return for their hospitality, I invited them to join me and my family for Thanksgiving. As we were pulling up and they saw the neighborhood, they were convinced I was from an extremely wealthy background and were a bit surprised when I revealed that my family is pretty solidly in the middle-class. They took pictures of all the various decorations my parents had put up, be it plastic plants or the curio cabinet my parents keep in the corner of the living room, neither of which they understood the purpose of. Things that we would take for granted, but which seemed entirely...well...foreign to them.

      I also discovered prior to the trip home that neither of them were aware of what a turkey was, so I made sure to sit down with them in advance and show them a picture of what it was (my parents had an unfortunate incident a few years prior, when they had a family from the Philippines and Indonesia over for Thanksgiving, only to discover partway through the meal that they apparently kept turkeys as pets), yet their eyes nearly bugged out when they saw just how huge the bird was as it was coming out of the oven. And while some of the food clearly wasn't to their tastes (which was to be expected), they LOVED the homemade cranberry relish that my family makes for each Thanksgiving (to be fair, we like it too, which is why we keep making it).

      For me, I remember enjoying conversations over language the most. We'd discuss various odd constructs in Hindi, Mandarin, English, Japanese, or other languages and then talk about how they were handled in each. It was especially interesting to discuss English with the Indian students, since their background was in British English, which has a few grammatical differences from American English that none of us realized until they presented themselves (e.g. saying "he got off of the bus" and "he got on of the bus" sounded equally ridiculous to them, whereas the first one would sound just fine to an American).

      Perhaps the most valuable lesson I received, however, was during my first week of grad school. I recall being concerned that I'd be going head-to-head in my classes and research against the best and brightest from around the world, and while some

  • by Cyrano de Maniac (60961) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:19PM (#42742477)

    The current situation does inure some benefits to the U.S., but in not easily measurable ways which is why they're not talked about all that much.

    My observations when I was a college student was that international students would gain a perspective on the U.S., Americans, our life, and our culture which was different from what they expected when they first arrived. I assume when they went back home that this new perspective would cause them to evaluate their own local press and government statements about the U.S. in light of their first-hand experiences and knowledge. I had lab partners from Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and mainland China, all of whom I was able to talk with about perspectives and impressions of the U.S., and I have no doubt that each of them had a more nuanced and healthier view of the U.S. after having lived here.

    If you want to stabilize relations with China and various Muslim areas of the world I think we'd be well served to invite far more of their students to study here so that when they go back home they can correct the thinking of their friends and family. Likewise the Americans who have a chance to study with them will realize that by and large "people are people", dispelling the simplistic "us versus them" mindset we seem to be afflicted with.

  • If you ask it this way: "Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?"

    No.

    Perhaps there are other ways of looking at it ...

  • Maybe instead of standing in the way of entrepreneurs (no matter where they're from) why not remove as many obstacles as possible from business start-ups? Maybe an "incentive visa" for starting a company and hiring Americans, with a fast track to citizenship?

    Why does "immigration reform" always mean "making illegals legal by fiat"?

  • If the President truly fears that international students will use skills learned at U.S. colleges and universities to the detriment of the United States if they return home ... then wouldn't another option be not providing them with the skills in the first place?

    It is if you think less education and less freedom in the world is a good thing.
  • by schlachter (862210) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:23PM (#42742573)

    It's our competitive advantage that the best and brightest young people from all over the world want to come to the USA to study. It helps us to brain drain the rest of the world for our own benefit. We should do more to keep these people in the USA when they graduate. Most want to stay. Even in cases where they do go back to their own countries, we gain soft diplomacy by exporting our way of life to other parts of the world.

  • They are earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science...We are giving them the skills to figure that out, ...

    Mayor Bloomberg advanced in 2011 ('we are investing millions of dollars [actually billions] to educate these students at our leading universities, ...

    Giving? Seems like they're paying us, investing in our universities, to study and earn their education. They pay for a service/product US universities are providing. Isn't that how Capitalism works? Sure, we could provide them access to our educational system, but who's going to pay the schools then?

    • Sure, we could provide them access to our educational system, but who's going to pay the schools then?

      [ Damn it! ] Or, we could deny them access.
      [ Sorry, I learned to type at US school... :-)

  • When they have no future in their native countries due to lack of education, they can turn their skills to violence, criminal activity and terrorism. We can then spend the billions used to educate and spread "OUR CORE" values peacefully to other countries on defense contractors. Fly drones and blow them up them up at home. Thus our economy grows and we keep our values right where they belong, here is the good ol US. Makes sense to me and very Progressive. BHO is making me ashamed I voted him.
  • At least from my observations, most people think the guys going to college in the states from overseas came here on a raft. In fact, all of the foreign students I met were from well-off to outlandishly rich families (3 Saudis I met of a group of maybe 10). The poor foreigners are the guys doing the lowest-rung work in our economy while the middle class guys are those small shop or restaurant owners. I'd say at least 95% of the foreign students I've met meet my description.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:30PM (#42742697)

    There is a balance. We feel free to bomb anywhere on the world, its only fair we provide free .edu anywhere on the world. It balances out, sorta kinda not really.

  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:31PM (#42742711)

    then wouldn't another option be not providing them with the skills in the first place?"

    Spoken like an american who has no clue how good he has it, which is saying a lot given how terrible US education is.

    In India, or China or the middle east, assuming the program you want exists there are far more qualified applicants than there are places. So that's the first hurdle. Those spots may be decided by bribes, clan, political connections, or gender. And not 'oh they bias admission to black slightly' I mean 'they don't let you in if you're a woman' kind of bias.

    Once you're there you have a problem. All of those political connections, bribes, clan loyalties etc. determine who gets the test questions in advance, and who doesn't. The US system, for all of its faults is relatively honest. If you get a 70% on an assignment then you can be reasonably sure that the identical assignment submitted by someone else should have gotten about 70%. And not 100% for being in the right clan, or 0 for not paying the right bribe to the right person today.

    You can't just 'give people skills'. Skills come from practice, honest evaluation and actually being taught something related to the skills you are trying to learn. Those things are work, sometimes hard work, and they cost money. Which is why some places regularly charge a huge amount of money for foreign tuition. You aren't going to become a good programmer by watching youtube videos, and you have no way to prove you know how to program if no one will honestly asses your work. That's why the very best and brightest from a lot of places get sent away: because even their own governments don't trust their own education system.

  • The problem is not about preparing brillant foreign students. Is not preparing brillant local ones because they can't pay for education, or prefer not to risk owing money for the rest of their lives getting it. Or even worse, preparing dumb, or not motivated enough because they have already their economic life ensured.

    Worse than using it in someone brillant from some other place (you probably are enjoying something designed or invented at least in part by someone from other country), is giving it to just a

  • umm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:34PM (#42742773)
    Hosting top foreign students is about as close to "win/win" as you get, depending on how it's managed. They pay tuition. They do research. They spend money on basic necessities while here (rent, food, etc.). Sometimes, if we're lucky, they stay here after graduating and become citizens. Highly paid citizens who are likely to contribute more in tax revenue and economic activity than they consume in govt. services. That is to say, the exact type of citizen we want to attract.

    Someone with a similar opinion:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/modeledbehavior/2012/10/09/the-20-billion-export-industry-that-the-government-is-holding-back/ [forbes.com]
    • by swillden (191260)

      The way to make it better, which, I believe, is what Obama is saying, is to make it even easier for them to stay and become highly-paid, productive citizens.

  • To say that international students pay more tuition and therefor pay their own way is overly simplistic as all of the grounds, buildings and other infrastructure were paid not only by tuition but by donations and state/federal funding at some point.
  • It's a business dude (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coeurderoy (717228) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:38PM (#42742839)

    In practice the US benefits by being able to select the best foreign students, sells them overprices education at a tremendous cost and then it will have the opportunity to keep a good percentage of them.

    And of course it would be much more dangerous for the US to reject this slice of the world population, because they would be perfectly able to build a similar teaching / research structure if they would need to...

  • At the undergraduate level, there's no "problem," as none of the US government-backed or university-backed financial aid programs support nonresident foreign nationals. Our universities take their tuition money and provide an education.

    The issue would be at the graduate level in the sciences and in engineering. But we need to be extremely careful about exactly what is being paid for. First set aside fellowships, which also don't apply to nonresident foreign nationals. The absolute standard practice is that

  • How on earth did an uninformed idiotic statement as a question make it the front page of my once beloved slashdot? I wouldn't even expect crap like this on reddit.
  • First of all, the US does not have a monopoly of good schools. Europe has many good schools, and there are schools that provide competent college-level education all over the world. Closing the doors of US universities merely directs the demand to these other good schools, and would probably not substantially decrease the creation of competition.

    Secondly, the US has a moral obligation to many countries, having terribly damaged their institutions and infrastructures over years of intervention. Even if the US

  • No hand out for me (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:44PM (#42742899)

    I came to this country to attend university and nothing was handed out to me. I paid full tuition and all living expenses out of my pocket. So, I actually brought money in and helped the US economy. Not only that, but after getting a degree, I STAYED and became a heavily taxed US citizen. So, not sure what the point of the article is.

  • Yeah, right.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by superdave80 (1226592) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:50PM (#42742993)

    ...That is why we need comprehensive immigration reform."

    Does anybody REALLY believe that this is why Obama want's 'comprehensive immigration reform' (translated: amnesty)?

    Or do we think that he wants to pass reform so that he'll have a few million illegal aliens granted citizenship so that they can vote for his party?

  • "... That is how you give new industries to our competitors. That is why we need comprehensive immigration reform."

    IIRC this kind of immigration reform was recently tried in the UK (although I'm not sure if it was actually implemented). The idea was that the government wanted to stem the tide of immigrants, but couldn't really hope to achieve that aim, because most of them were entering legally from other European countries. So, they sought to restrict the number of foreign students in the UK. But, then

  • by moeinvt (851793) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @04:58PM (#42743121)

    Yes, all those 15 million illegals that crossed the Southern border, along with their offspring are hard at work studying and excelling in various STEM disciplines so that they can help build a better USA. "Fields of the future?" I think it's more likely that they're working in the fields right now.

    I've got nothing against hard working immigrants. If I was in their shoes, I'd be doing the same thing. I blame the federal government for a deliberately failed immigration policy.

  • by serbanp (139486) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @05:51PM (#42743831)

    This is the most blatant lie I have read in a long time. US has benefited enormously from the influx of highly educated immigrants, whose education was paid for other countries. The US got them FOR FREE...

    I bet that there are many, many more fully-educated foreigners coming to US than people who pursue their "cheap but good-quality" (really?) education in US then move abroad to benefit other nations.

    The ones who peddle the idea stated in the summary are either disingenuous or don't know how good they have it.

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