Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Why Aren’t The Presidents Of America’s Leading Universities Publicly Supporting The Quest of Hong Kong Students For Democracy And Freedom?

Almost every leading university in America has a center for the study of democracy and encourages its students to help build democracy around the world.

But why haven’t the leaders of these same universities signed and published a letter supporting the students in their quest for freedom and democracy against repressive rule from China?

Perhaps they fear losing their mess of Chinese pottage.  The most recent data I could find (2017-18 academic year) reported 363,341 mainland Chinese students attending U.S. tertiary institutions, a nearly fivefold increase from 62,523 in the 2004-05 academic year.  Mainland Chinese make up about a third of all international students in U.S. tertiary institutions.

The 363,341 students paid an estimated $12 billion in tuition and fees to U.S. colleges and universities, an average of $33,000 per student.

About 36% of mainland Chinese students are enrolled in Bachelor’s programs, 32% in Master’s programs, 15% in doctoral programs, and 17% in community colleges.  Elite private universities collect well above the $33,000 average.

About a tenth of all mainland Chinese students enroll in just ten schools:  Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, Southern California, UCLA, Columbia, Berkeley, and NYU.  Most have large STEM programs.  They would face financial strain if Chinese enrollment dried up.

Given the increasing political, social, and economic importance of China, many leading American universities also have affiliations with Chinese universities that they want to maintain.

China could use its tuition paying students and its hosting of branches of U.S. universities as pawns in any major dispute with the United States.  The presidents of U.S. universities are not likely to risk billions of dollars and ties to China in support of student protests in Hong Kong that have little chance of overcoming Chinese opposition.

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Hard to believe that university presidents don't have the courage of progressive conviction. And the suggestion that money is more important than the People is shocking. Shocking, I tell you.