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Credit agency warns of risk to Canadian schools if China pulls students. US Schools Too?

TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 15290 replies1035 threads Senior Member
edited February 2019 in Parents Forum
Canada and China are currently involved in a dispute regarding Canada's arrest of a Chinese executive.
"Moody’s notes Chinese students make up nearly two-thirds of the international student body at the University of Toronto, more than one-third at the University of British Columbia and almost one-fourth at McGill University."

I read that Chinese students currently account for half the international enrolment at Boston University or about 12% of total enrolment. Globalization of universities comes with financial risk.

https://montrealgazette.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/credit-agency-warns-big-risk-to-canadian-schools-if-china-pulls-students/wcm/0d3ba2ab-12d1-4ba4-96f0-55bf94de8410
edited February 2019
18 replies
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Replies to: Credit agency warns of risk to Canadian schools if China pulls students. US Schools Too?

  • warblersrulewarblersrule 10105 replies176 threads Super Moderator
    edited February 2019
    I read that Chinese students currently account for half the international enrolment at Boston University or about 12% of total enrolment.
    This is pretty standard for American universities. China produces 33% of the international students in the US, and China and India together produce 50%.

    No other countries even come close to these two; South Korea trails in distant 3rd place, producing 5% of international students in the US.
    edited February 2019
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35243 replies399 threads Senior Member
    But they could fill the gap with international kids from other countries. (I don't know how popular Canadian unis are with internaitonals, but for US colleges, there are plenty of potential full pays from other countries. A little planning would do it.)
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3561 replies12 threads Senior Member
  • chicabuenachicabuena 80 replies29 threads Junior Member
    I wonder how this situation is in the UK with Brexit fast approaching? 40% of UK students are international, and pay the very, very high international rates in £ Sterling, no less. I imagine with the fears of a no-deal Brexit looking this would certainly are risk to the UK schools, also?
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1585 replies35 threads Senior Member
    I imagine with the fears of a no-deal Brexit looking this would certainly are risk to the UK schools, also?
    Yes, absolutely.
    The UK higher education sector is lobbying for a new government international education strategy to set a target to increase the number of overseas students, while a former Conservative universities minister is leading a push to bring back post-study work visas.

    The moves are both driven by fears that, without concrete policy shifts to establish a more welcoming approach, the UK will fall behind key international rivals in the global race to attract students.
    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/double-push-revive-international-student-recruitment-uk?utm_source=THE+Website+Users&utm_campaign=305ea1852c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_02_06_03_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_daa7e51487-305ea1852c-62169741

    Here's another article on somewhat related issue concerning graduate students:
    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/chicago-president-feels-chill-immigration-curbs-bite?utm_source=THE+Website+Users&utm_campaign=f48b1e120b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_02_05_03_46&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_daa7e51487-f48b1e120b-62169741

    Registration is required to read the articles.
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  • yearstogoyearstogo 696 replies30 threads Member
    I would also surmise that replacing the Chinese/Indian students with kids from other countries would result in a reduction in the quality of the programs?
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  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6676 replies141 threads Senior Member
    yearstogo wrote:
    I would also surmise that replacing the Chinese/Indian students with kids from other countries would result in a reduction in the quality of the programs?
    I see no reason why that would be the case. Why would you think so?
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  • boudersbouders 2527 replies175 threads Senior Member
    Mainland Chinese students at Canadian universities have a reputation for flaunting their wealth and cheating. I know of a couple of Canadian universities in particular where the other students would be happy to see the numbers of mainland Chinese students decrease.
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  • evergreen5evergreen5 1657 replies33 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2019
    I am not at all up-do-date on these types of current events, so this will probably be completely ignorant, but as a practical matter, I'd wonder how China could pull Chinese students located in other countries against their will - and the will of their presumably wealthy (and politically connected) families in China. Is there a financial route, such as Chinese banks not transferring funds to foreign universities? Otherwise, this sounds like hot air, like the people it would hurt most are the Chinese students, i.e. cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.
    edited February 2019
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  • gwnorthgwnorth 413 replies8 threads Member
    @evergreen5, not sure if the situation is the same with students from China, but earlier in the year the Canadian government had a spat with Saudi Arabia over human rights abuses that resulted in S.A. threatening to pull it's students in Canadian medical school programs. In this particular case the Saudi government pays the tuition and costs for it's students. I think most students from China pay their own way, but I was reading an article that said that the Chinese government had issued a warning to students about studying in Canada trying to dissuade them from going. It must have had a significant impact because the independent companies that help students apply to overseas schools were scrambling to find other destinations for their customers to apply to (apparently Australia, New Zealand, and Germany are also popular destinations for Chinese students). So while the Chinese government may not have direct financial control over it's students attending Canadian universities, it can certainly influence their choices.
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  • gwnorthgwnorth 413 replies8 threads Member
    The number of international students at Canadian universities have risen very quickly over the past few years. Many schools have turned to the strategy of enrolling international students to help bolster their coffers. Most notably universities in the maritimes who have had a tough time with declining enrolment due to a decrease in the post-secondary aged cohort due to an aging population have turned to international recruitment to bolster their enrolment numbers. As a result of China's growing middle and upper middle classes, and the cut throat nature of their post-secondary system, China is a popular country to recruit from (as is India). There has been some criticism that the quality of the students that are being attracted is less than stellar (aren't proficient in English, lower academic standards required for admittance, using falsified academic documents) which is understandable because if they were top students they would most likely stay and study in their own country or would be studying at a top tier Canadian school. Other students are coming apparently as a means to pave the way for immigration for their families. Even schools that are not traditionally seen as popular with international students are marketing hard to get their piece of the pie.

    As I haven't been on a university campus in decades I don't know how valid these concerns are. I do know that if not for international students many schools would be scrambling to fill their graduate programs. Personally I like the diversity that international students add to schools. Of course with the large metropolitan areas of Canada being very multicultural in their own right, their campuses tend to be very diverse even among it's domestic students, with many being relatively recent immigrants. Outside of the major centres however the school's tend to be much more homogeneous, which is why being able to attract international students can be helpful in increasing their diversity. DS19 attends a very diverse high school but the universities he's applied to are for the most part relatively non-diverse. I personally would like to see more diversity at these schools as it creates more of an atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance. Predominantly white schools with students from high socioeconomic backgrounds have a reputation for racism.
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  • boudersbouders 2527 replies175 threads Senior Member
    @evergreen5 Decades ago, it was very difficult for Chinese citizens to be allowed to leave the country. That only started to change about 25 years ago. They still have to apply to leave the country. The law says "Approval to exit from the country shall not be granted to persons.....persons whose exit from the country will, in the opinion of the competent department of the State Council, be harmful to state security or cause a major loss to national interests." https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/ce/cgny/eng/lsqz/laws/t42218.htm
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threads Senior Member
    "I see no reason why that would be the case. Why would you think so?"

    Because they didn't earn the spots under the current system. Of course cutting the applicant pool by 33% or more reduces the competitiveness of the pool overall. The university chose the Chinese students. By definition, the students the university must take instead are second choice for those spots.
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  • emptynesteryetemptynesteryet 205 replies4 threads Junior Member
    edited February 2019
    Are they second choice @Hanna

    At competitive schools a reduction would easily be filled by other equally qualified applicants.

    At this level schools are splitting hairs.

    How much if $$ motivated?


    edited February 2019
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  • boudersbouders 2527 replies175 threads Senior Member
    I only know details for the University of Waterloo engineering program, which has a lot of students from China. In 2017, there were 4000 international applicants and 200 spots available for internationals. The chances for domestic applicants was roughly twice that of an international applicant.

    Roughly 80% of Waterloo's international students are from China. It's 60% at U of T, 35% at UBC and 23% at McGill. Some universities could stand to increase their marketing in the US and other countries.
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