Sunday, December 02, 2007

Where Is The Outrage Over Foreign Grad Students?

According to this WSJ editorial from last week, foreign students received 33% of all research doctorates awarded by U.S. universities in 2006, up from 25% in 2001, and foreign students earned 44% of science and engineering Ph.D.s.

Given their past hostility to globalization and outsourcing, where are protectionists like Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan and John Kerry? Shouldn't they be complaining vociferously that foreigners are taking away research and teaching assistantships from Americans at U.S. research universities? Where is the outrage over "Benedict Arnold American university and college presidents" taking away funding from American graduate students and giving it instead to so many foreigners? After all, most doctoral students receive funding in the form of research or teaching assistantships, so aren't these foreign students taking away jobs from Americans?

What is the difference between Microsoft shifting its employment of Ph.D. software engineers from the U.S. to research centers in Bangalore, and the U. of Chicago, Cal Tech and M.I.T. increasing the percentage of acceptances and financial support for engineering students from India in their Ph.D. programs?

If Microsoft's hiring of an Indian engineer takes away a job from an American engineer, don't the foreign students earning 44% of science and engineering doctorates likewise take away opportunities from American students to attend graduate school?

Q: Where is the outrage?

8 Comments:

At 12/02/2007 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Percentages are nice but what are the total numbers of students we are talking about? Total numbers of U.S. PhD students can increase while their percentages go down.

Bottom line there isn't enough information in your posting to arrive at a bottom line.

 
At 12/02/2007 8:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Bottom line there isn't enough information in your posting to arrive at a bottom line"...

Hmmm, obviously you missed the bottom line that was in the first paragraph Professor Mark wrote...

Actual numbers really don't matter...

But if YOU are really interested consider perusing this Myth: Shortage of Domestic Engineering Graduates for some of the numbers...

Why should anyone be suprised that Dobbs, Buchannan, or Kerry are clueless? They do have a public track record of cluelessness that stretches back at least a decade or more...

 
At 12/02/2007 8:56 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Oh yeah! One more thing Professor Mark, have you visited Economic Immigration AKA The Prisoner's Dilemma?

You might find it interesting...

 
At 12/02/2007 11:28 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

I think there isn't an outrage for exporting knowledge simply because the supply of Domestic students wanting these degrees continues to be satisfied. Right now, we do not have a condition where colleges have a bunch of American students that are denied the opportunity to get a doctorate in economics or computer science because the colleges only admit international students. I'm sure if students in America found it difficult to study in America, there would be a lot of complaining.

Corporations outsourcing jobs usually has an immediate impact of depriving a domestic job seeker an opportunity to work and earn money. A school that teaches international students isn't perceived as taking from Americans.

Or, maybe it's a matter of business. All those foreign students rarely get scholarships; they are more than willing to pay full tuition to get their education. Maybe colleges now require this lofty source of cash in order to provide more scholarships to meet their obligations to recruit their desired domestic students.

But to your prior point, most International students want very much to work in the US upon graduation; but the weird Visa issue usually forces them back home. I'm sure if businesses and medical institutions were going after International Graduates in place of American Graduates, we'd see a bigger outcry. For what it's worth International students have a tendency to be willing to accept lower pay than their American counterparts, but the friction of the Visa actually makes it more costly for a business to hire an International Student. Maybe the comfort of exporting college graduates sits better with people than the notion of watching an International Graduate taking an American's job.

 
At 12/02/2007 11:35 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Most PhD programs don't charge tuition to foreign or American students: tuition is usually free and the graduate students receive a stipend. Therefore, being a doctoral student is very much like being employed by a university as a research or teaching assistant.

At almost all of the PhD programs, there are limits on the number of students selected, especially the number of students that receive full funding. If more foreign students are accepted and given full funding, more American students are rejected and/or denied funding.

 
At 12/03/2007 6:29 PM, Blogger holeydonut said...

Eh... I was thinking higher education in general... which of course isn't the point of your post since you do refer to Grad Students. Almost all the CS, CE, EE, MBA, MD, and JD students I've ever met had to fork over a huge amount of money and/or work while studying to fund their undergraduate and subsequent masters degress.

I guess those willing to suffer all th way to a PhD are a special breed and need some additional incentive. Either that or there's no practical way to expect someone to self fund all the way to a PhD.

 
At 12/03/2007 9:06 PM, Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

Buchanan is in his own little world but as for Dobbs and the rest, they likely don't want to pick on anyone in the far left ivory towers since they have to live in those same towers.

Of course, the real reason not to be outraged is that being a major provider of higher education to the world has fringe benefits in terms of business contacts recruiting and general influence on the culture and politics of the planet. Those who get an education that is not available in their own nation will improve the economy of the homeland (either by bringing back skills or by returning remittance) which in the long term provides America with more markets and less pressure to provide aid money.

But if your point is that those who moan about foreign scientists and engineers are selective in their moaning then your point stands.

 
At 12/03/2007 9:14 PM, Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

Though I must admit that I agree with your previous post about the policy of deporting people after they have been educated.

 

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