As part of an overture to the state legislature, in the middle of a funding allocation cycle, the University of California system has volunteered to cap out of State and international student numbers. See the Reuters report. The issue is a familiar one to us. International students pay premium tuition fees and thus are sometimes seen a subsidising domestic students — or, more cynically, seen to be subsidising other University expenses. (In the UK, the international premium is less at undergraduate level and only really pertains to postgraduate study. Also, in the United States, state universities charge different fees depending upon whether the student is resident in the ‘home’ or ‘another’ state. So, a big chunk of California’s premium fee income is undergraduate out-of-state students.)
In California, just as it sometimes is here, the perceived problem with this arrangement is that the recruitment of international students edges out domestic students. Interestingly, the issue of whether international students are getting a good deal somehow never arises… Quite the contrary, in fact, as this rather snide report shows.