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Fastest Growing US Export To China: Education

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the portable-wealth dept.

China 147

hackingbear writes "While we are importing billions of 'cheap' products labeled 'Made in China,' the fastest growing export from U.S. to China does not even need a label. Chinese parents are acutely aware that the Chinese educational system focuses too much on rote memorization, so Chinese students have flocked to overseas universities and now even secondary schools, despite the high cost of attending programs in America. Chinese enrollment in U.S. universities rose 23% to 157,558 students during the 2010-2011 academic year, making China by far the biggest foreign presence. Even the daughter of Xi Jinping, the presumed next president of China, studies as an undergraduate at Harvard. This creates opportunities for universities to bring American education directly to China. Both Duke and New York University are building campuses in the Shanghai area to offer full-time programs to students there."

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147 comments

Econ 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403969)

More demand = higher prices for everyone

Re:Econ 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404027)

They pay foreign students fees, I'm sure.

Just raise those, and that can pay for a lot of things.

Re:Econ 101 (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404107)

They should raise tuition significantly- each seat filled by a foreign student is one less domestic student in that seat and robs the US of future domestic production, especially if that seat might have contributed positively to the domestic economy (ie: sciences/computer science/engineering)- I doubt these foreign students are here for liberal art degrees. Unless you actually build new facilities, enlarge existing lecture halls, and hire additional faculty, this is the simple math of the situation.

Re:Econ 101 (5, Insightful)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#40404295)

each seat filled by a foreign student is one less domestic student in that seat and robs the US of future domestic production

Are you kidding me? Foreign students are doing more than just getting an education here... they are learning the American way. They're being exposed to our values, life-style, religions, government institutions, free-market economy, etc, etc, etc.

Some of those foreigners will one day run their country (or be near the top), and they will have more American values than if they did not attend. You're creating a potential ally, or at least someone who is likely to be more friendly to the US.

That is worth a lot.

Re:Econ 101 (4, Insightful)

wetpainter (2271496) | about 2 years ago | (#40404523)

Or you are creating the biggest competitor imaginable. Imagine a China in 30 years that can innovate like the US, China where people can think about science and engineering like the US has in the last 50 years. If you are a dairy farmer you want to sell milk, not your best cows to your customers.

Re:Econ 101 (1, Insightful)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#40404651)

Yes, you're completely right. You're making them more like us--creating more shared values between us... but it's those values that give America its competitive edge. So if they adopt them, they will be more friendly toward us, but also more competitive with us. It's a double-edged sword.

Re:Econ 101 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404831)

Or you are creating the biggest competitor imaginable. Imagine a China in 30 years that can innovate like the US, China where people can think about science and engineering like the US has in the last 50 years. If you are a dairy farmer you want to sell milk, not your best cows to your customers.

It is not a zero sum game. The industrial might of the US didn't make Europe poorer. In fact a rich US and a rich Europe provide trade opportunities that enrich both.

Right now a poor China is stealing shit from the US. But if a rich China can innovate like the US, it won't need to steal. It will trade with the US and the world will be better for it.

Re:Econ 101 (4, Interesting)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 years ago | (#40404879)

Nope. American culture is like crack. Dipped in chocolate. Wrapped in bacon. With hookers.

Re:Econ 101 (3, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | about 2 years ago | (#40405161)

Mainly because america is the only culture that could come up with bacon wrapped chocolate dipped crack.
Go across the pond and they'd probably try making the crack into a white sauce, or bread it and soak it with balsamic vinegar.

Re:Econ 101 (1)

wiggles (30088) | about 2 years ago | (#40404713)

Or they're learning our weaknesses and how to exploit them - like Yamamoto.

Re:Econ 101 (3, Informative)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#40405355)

Although Yamamoto did spend some time at Harvard, he actually graduated from the Japanese naval academy. Ironically, having spent much time in the United States (he was later the Japanese naval attaché), he was firmly against attacking the US as he thought that Japan had no hope of winning a protracted war.

As to how the pearl harbor attack was so successful? Many attribute it be a copy of the battle of taranto (the first all-airplane attack launched from an air-craft carrier) where the UK destroyed some docked Italian battleships. My take is that Yamamoto copied the US war exercise where US Admiral Yarnell [wikipedia.org] performed pretty much the exact same attack on Hawaii with pretty much the same result...

He didn't learn our weakesses in school, but by studying history. Based on Yamamoto's prewar pro-US stance as a function of his time here, I'd say let more folks like him in.

Re:Econ 101 (3, Insightful)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | about 2 years ago | (#40404843)

Not only that, many of them want to stay here. It's the Chinese brain drain.

Think again (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40406787)

Not only that, many of them want to stay here. It's the Chinese brain drain.

Think again

Many of the Chinese (and other foreign) students, stayed in America after they graduated, not because they love America

Because there are so many thing they can learn in America - so many new ideas, new concept, new way of thinking - that they can soak in

I am speaking from experience

After I graduated from college, I stayed in America for almost 3 decades

Did I like America? Well... yes and no

I like America, because there are so many good things in America that I learn

But I just can not substitute America for my homeland

For the 30 or so years that I was in America, not for a day I did not think of my homeland, not for a day my homeland did not beckon

So, after the 30 years I spent in America, after 30 years of learning what America can offer me, I went back to my homeland

So yes, you can say, during the 30 years that I was in America, it was a "brain drain" for my homeland

But ultimately, I came back home

And I suspect many of those Chinese (and other foreign) students will go back to their respective home countries

You gotta understand one thing - the time I was in America, it was when Ronald Reagan was the president, when America was still _something_ to be reckoned with

Not the America now

When I was in America, the "camp city phenomenon" only happened once - when the blue collar worker from rust belt flocked to Houston and Dallas, TX

Today?

"Camp Cities" are everywhere - America just isn't the America it used to be

And that only translate to - More and more of the foreign students ultimately will end up going home
 

Re:Econ 101 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406389)

Are you kidding me? Foreign students are doing more than just getting an education here... they are learning the American way. They're being exposed to our values, life-style, religions, government institutions, free-market economy, etc, etc, etc.

You must be speaking abstractly, without any observational experience to back it up.

In graduate school, I noticed next-to-zero foreign students interacting with the american students. They did not socialize with us, or even speak our language. Having had an exercise to critique and evaluate a classmate's written paper, I was downright shocked at the complete lack of any kind of grasp of the English language: half of the paper was plagiarized straight from the textbook, and the other half was poorly constructed syntax intended to glue the pieces together than only a native English speaker would have any hope of discerning (even after a lot of effort).

I'm honestly not sure how this individual made it to graduate school at all, and I'm not sure how they can be learning our values if they don't interact with us and also don't grasp the language. It must be the value of the diploma, not the experience or the education that goes with it.

Re:Econ 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406577)

Yes they are so american they stay in groups with their own kind, keep doing their asian shit( karaoke, eat rice, buy cheap fast food), and take all our graduate jobs. Yeah, no thanks I don't want america to be ruined by a bunch of gooks. The american way was made by white men, if you think the chinese of other asians will have the same mentality as white guys from the 1800s think again motherfucker.

I was a foreign student, once (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40406677)

Yes, I am not from America, and Yes, I once studied in America

And Yes, I do not live in America

Why?

Because, although America is good in many ways, I do not feel that America is my home

Plus, not everything in America is hanky dory - there are things that I, no matter how much I tried, just can't accept - like gay marriage, like late-term (trimester) abortion, for instance

American value? Maybe ...

After staying in America for more than 2 decades, for better of worse, I do understand the worldview of many of my American friends

But that does not mean I will emulate _everything_ that I have come across in America in my homeland

After all, in America, I was a foreigner

And America, no matter how good it is, is still a foreign land for me
 

I was a foreign student, once (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40406699)

Yes, I am not from America, and Yes, I once studied in America

And Yes, I do not live in America

Why?

Because, although America is good in many ways, I do not feel that America is my home

Plus, not everything in America is hanky dory - there are things that I, no matter how much I tried, just can't accept - like gay marriage, like late-term (trimester) abortion, for instance

American value? Maybe ...

After staying in America for more than 2 decades, for better of worse, I do understand the worldview of many of my American friends

But that does not mean I will emulate _everything_ that I have come across in America in my homeland

After all, in America, I was a foreigner

And America, no matter how good it is, is still a foreign land for me

BTW, the businesses that I run do have offices in America, as well as China, among other countries
 

Re:Econ 101 (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40404653)

You are supposing (wrongly) that there aren't enough seats for domestic students, and so a foreign student taking a seat is depriving a domestic one of a seat.

In that thinking you are completely wrong.

When I was an undergrad I had to take 1st year chem and biology. Both of which had well over 2000 students when the largest classroom was 400 at my school. By your logic this would mean 1600 people got screwed out of their degree. By university logic this meant running a total of 6 or 7 lecture sets for the same class, covering the same material. Multiple profs, a bit of a headache at test time, so they used the gym, a few minor logistical challenges. A course that big employed about 20 teaching assistants (some places this could easily be over 60 TA's per course, depends on how much else they have to do) that work for grad students since they're usually TAs and 6 or 7 lecture sets by itself would be 2 full time faculty for a year, so it works out to a couple of extra teaching jobs.

Some schools, the ones that cap enrollment, sure, a foreign student is taking a domestic seat. But those schools only want the best anyway, and it doesn't do them any favours to take a kid with a 97 average when there's one with a 98 average. They care plain and simple about maximizing talent. Those schools are also small, and even then, they can grow if they want to. But everywhere else more students is nothing but good. Where I am now could easily handle double our current enrollment, but we don't have enough applicants who are qualified (at least in useful degrees, if you want to get psych, drama, business, english, that sort of thing, they might have trouble doubling enrollment). I think we have about 35K undergrads but had over 50k for 4 years due to a change in education around here, we could reasonably bounce back up to 50k anyway.

Even in a programme like medicine or engineering where there's a hard cap on enrollment, the presumption that half or 2/3rds of graduates are going to leave (or whatever the number is, depends where you are) is baked into setting the caps. If you train 100 doctors a year but only really need 50 domestically and you have 50 foreign students you're not really depriving a local of the chance to go be a doctor in china.

In the long run the chinese aren't going to move 10 time zones for school, and by then the populations of the US and canada will grow into needing the space in universities. But right now we may as well take advantage of people willing to cough up tens of thousands of dollars a year in education fees, plus thousands more in living expenses. All these chinese students have proven to be very good for a friend of mine who works at a BMW dealership. The little emperor wants to look good when he's slumming it with us middle class types.

Re:Econ 101 (2)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 2 years ago | (#40405077)

While I agree with almost everything in your post, this one stood out for me:

They care plain and simple about maximizing talent.

Oftentimes, they care about maximizing endowment potential as much as they care about talent. And those new wealth Chinese families have cash to burn, and many of them enjoy seeing (and showing off) their name near the top of donor lists.

Re:Econ 101 (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40405781)

True, but either way, if a chinese guy is richer/smarter than an american guy, and the criteria you are really evaluation on is rich/smart then there's nothing wrong with taking the whichever one best fits the metric you want.

As was said in another thread earlier this week too, education costs money, a lot of it. You can't fault schools for trying to make money because it doesn't do anyone any favours if they run out of money.

Re:Econ 101 (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | about 2 years ago | (#40404811)

They should raise tuition significantly- each seat filled by a foreign student is one less domestic student in that seat and robs the US of future domestic production, especially if that seat might have contributed positively to the domestic economy (ie: sciences/computer science/engineering)- I doubt these foreign students are here for liberal art degrees. Unless you actually build new facilities, enlarge existing lecture halls, and hire additional faculty, this is the simple math of the situation.

Don't worry, the graduates will just start building perfect copies of MIT and other top US universities when they return to China, just like they do with everything else. The problem you're talking about is only temporary.

Re:Econ 101 (1)

elflord (9269) | about 2 years ago | (#40405823)

This is a fallacy -- because it assumes that the "number of seats" is a fixed quantity. As long as the foreign students pay for their education it's probably a win for the American students. As long as there is more money coming in, there will be a way to increase capacity.

Re:Econ 101 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404251)

More demand = higher prices for everyone

Unlikely. A university is closer to a non-profit than a corporation (with some notable exceptions). Foreign students probably reduce the cost for in-state students since foreign students must pay out-of-state tuition and can't receive financial aid.

Tuition prices have skyrocketed recently not because the cost of education has increased or the demand has increased. It is because austerity measures have reduced the amount of money that the States send to the universities. Most US universities are deeply in the red right now. They aren't packing away cash like you suggest.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 2 years ago | (#40403977)

From TFA:

As I argue in my recently released book, The End of Cheap China, Chinese parents are acutely aware that the Chinese educational system focuses too much on rote memorization and doesnâ(TM)t give students enough training in morality and extracurricular activity.

So those parents send their kids to US schools to learn "morality"?

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404135)

Better question: So those parents send their kids to US schools to avoid a curriculum focused too much on rote memorization?

Re:Huh? (2)

IorDMUX (870522) | about 2 years ago | (#40407007)

So those parents send their kids to US schools to avoid a curriculum focused too much on rote memorization?

How many Chinese nationals do you know? Having gone to a university with a large contingent of non-U.S.-citizens, I can tell you that these American schools really are valued for their ability to educate beyond memorization tasks. I have heard many such stories from those who have come here to study.

And it extends into the high school realm, as well. The city where I grew up was quite popular for immigrants due to the low cost of living coupled with good jobs in the medical and engineering fields. As a result, I had many friends who had gone to school in Russia, Latvia, Moldova, China, etc. before moving here. There were many who had their multiplication tables memorized well ahead of me, or could name every country in Europe or Africa, but I heard again and again how much even these high-school-age students recognized the quality of the education they were receiving in this public school.

Re:Huh? (4, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | about 2 years ago | (#40404339)

No, not really, it is more of a status mark than anything else. High-ranking Chinese Communist party members (because most of the kids who end up in the US universities will be from rich families, and in China the rich families are connected to a certain political party) have, as all Communist Party leaders everywhere, a penchant for all things Western, especially American.

If you make a list of all the kids of ex-communist leaders from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (especially the parts of Eastern Europe where the influence of the Communist parties is still strong, whatever their current name is), and you'll see it is a definite trend.

It isn't about education, it is about image.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404445)

'So those parents send their kids to US schools to learn "morality"?'

Yep, that and ancient measurement systems and intelligent design is not available there.

Re:Huh? (2)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#40405175)

Probably meant not just morality itself, but personal character that encompasses a strong sense of morality. I know many Chinese parents who've immigrated to the US with their children lament the deterioration of individual character back home, and the negative influence of modern Chinese society -- too much materialism, too little compassion, too much deference to groups, too little room for thinking on one's own -- and the rigid framework of exams that strangles the education experience. I know most people in the US would say "we have plenty of that here too" but as much it occurs in the US, for them the distinction is still clear. One example that stuck with me is that in the US children are often told that one person can make a difference. These parents (researchers and business people) believe in the great effect the inculcation of such an idea can have on a child, yet they say the concept remains almost foreign to many in China. As much as Slashdot pundits like to put Western and Eastern thought on polar ends, and talk on and on about moral/cultural relativism, things like this remind me that universal ideas still exist.

Re:Huh? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#40406409)

but as much it occurs in the US, for them the distinction is still clear

Just the opposite. Seeing how damaging it in US, they want none of it at home.

Re:Huh? (1)

poity (465672) | about 2 years ago | (#40406949)

I haven't encountered any of such sentiment in my conversations with fellow Chinese immigrants. This is in an American college town btw, with highly educated parents. Even two years ago when I was back in China, the sentiment was that education abroad was much more holistic and comprehensive, focusing on knowledge rather than climbing up the exam placement roll sheets.

Re:Huh? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 2 years ago | (#40405187)

Sure. Have you any idea of what Chinese ethics consist of? Typically, it's "I got mine, screw you" and "how can I work this situation to my personal advantage?" I'm not saying all Chinese are like this, but it seems pretty common to me in their culture.

To many of the older Chinese, some of whom actually bought into the premise of communism, this is anathema -- and the youth culture in China is not the place to learn values that conflict with pure greed.

Just my thoughts on working with and being friends with many Chinese.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 2 years ago | (#40406195)

Sure. Have you any idea of what Chinese ethics consist of? Typically, it's "I got mine, screw you" and "how can I work this situation to my personal advantage?" I'm not saying all Chinese are like this, but it seems pretty common to me in their culture.

So I see we have already successfully exported US ethics.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406233)

In your case, the word 'Chinese' describes a wide, wide area of people almost or even wider than saying, "Western." It's not valid to say, 'their culture' any more than you would say 'white man's culture.'

Be careful because although I am 'Chinese,' I in no way subscribe to the ethics and morality system of Mainlanders. Of which there are even further subdivisions. Start with distinguishing between HK Chinese, Taiwan Chinese and Mainland Chinese. And from the mainland, there are big city mainlanders, village mainlanders, east/west divisions, and so on. Then there are naturalized Chinese people in America, Canada, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere. These are further distinguished by whether they are first generation immigrants or second generation immigrants or even more.

To do less would be to descend into racism; in the same way that just saying 'White people are like this' would be.

Re:Huh? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 2 years ago | (#40405459)

According to Marriam Webster online morality has several definitions, one of which is "conformity to ideals of right human conduct" which might eventually have some bearing on human rights. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/morality [merriam-webster.com]

Relatively speaking, the US grants better human rights than China does so yes, this does actually make sense though it might not be exactly what the parents intend.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406219)

Or maybe how to think critically and question things. The university system in western cultures started as a way to learn philosphy and the bible and then debate things. It was an idea exchange that makes a bachelor different from a peasant.

China is the exact opposite. If you ask too many questions you are a trouble maker and people report you to the party for being unpatriotic. There is much paranoia and even after the devestating cultural revolution in the 1960s the people today are afraid to speak out. Their university system is based on ancient philospy too with confusius scholars to get their government service exam passed (before modern China) but it is more of indoctornation and job training. Being political correct was more important in the later centuries in ancient China and this was before the communist revolution.

It is different.

Well ok. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403983)

I would say the US education system is inferior to most countries, China included, but grass is always greener i guess.

Re:Well ok. (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 2 years ago | (#40404141)

The US has plenty of excellent public and private schools. These families are aware of that, and will choose where to live carefully. At the primary and secondary level, you also have to consider that these families are interested in obtaining a North American diploma to ensure acceptance in western universities. They also seem to be accutely aware of the cost of education in North America and attempt to establish some sort of residence status in order to pay local rates.

Re:Well ok. (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about 2 years ago | (#40404195)

It's not about averages or the norm, but the high end - Ivy League.

English-speaking and being one of the main places to do business are advantages. There's also the quality of life and democracy.

Probably some intent to stay too. If they can get into top-end universities on merit and afford to pay for it, far as I'm concerned they're welcome. Not only do we score one fine mind for free, China loses one.

not new (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403985)

This has been going on for some time, for a number of reasons, not least the profit motive. Several English schools and American universities expanded into Asia (especially China) during the boom years. There are also several universities with presence in the Middle East. It's harder than it looks, when you try to meld two educational schools of thought, and recruiting staff for work abroad is harder than many schools think. There have been several high profile flame-outs.

International Students Pay More (2)

Chibi (232518) | about 2 years ago | (#40404031)

I've read that part of the motivation for admitting more international students is purely financial... universities can charge more, so they have an incentive to have more international students. For the foreign students, there's a certain level of prestige associated with attending an American university, especially for Asian countries which place some additional importance on English language skills.

So... when does higher education bubble burst? Everyone is expecting it to. It makes no sense that while the economy is tanking, colleges can just continue to charge more money at rates considerably higher than cost of living adjustments...

Re:International Students Pay More (4, Informative)

marshac (580242) | about 2 years ago | (#40404255)

The University of Washington was caught giving preference to out-of-state students for this very reason. As a WA resident and tax payer, it's infuriating that our students are denied the chance to remain within their home State- even worse, they are at a disadvantage relative to the out-of-state students simply because they don't even have the option of paying that out-of-state tuition rate just so that they can be on a level financial playing field. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014670294_admissions03m.html [nwsource.com]

Re:International Students Pay More (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#40405473)

There's a pretty easy way to stop the university from doing that: in-state tuitions are usually low because the university is supported by state funding. Make it so they get a fixed amount *per* in-state student. So if in-state tuition is $12K and out-of-state is $30k, the state gives $18K per student, and the university has no incentive to recruit out-of-state.

If, on the other hand, the state is currently giving the university less than that $18k, then the state is using out-of-state students to subsidize cheap tuition for in-state students, and nobody in-state should be complaining that an out-of-state student is paying for your kid's education.

Re:International Students Pay More (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 2 years ago | (#40406255)

There's a pretty easy way to stop the university from doing that: in-state tuitions are usually low because the university is supported by state funding. Make it so they get a fixed amount *per* in-state student. So if in-state tuition is $12K and out-of-state is $30k, the state gives $18K per student, and the university has no incentive to recruit out-of-state.

In our current political climate, it is still the smarter business decision to go with the out-of-state students. That $30k is guaranteed for a non-resident, where $18k out of $30k for a resident is submitted to the whims of politicians, and recent history does not give much confidence it will still be $18k in the future.

If, on the other hand, the state is currently giving the university less than that $18k, then the state is using out-of-state students to subsidize cheap tuition for in-state students, and nobody in-state should be complaining that an out-of-state student is paying for your kid's education.

If the state is giving the university less than $18k, it is the university's responsibility to charge more than $12k in-state tuition to make up the difference. It is not the state's problem if in-state tuition stays at a level below what is required for parity, barring some unthinkable state law capping tuition.

Re:International Students Pay More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404313)

And it's even better then that (worse?)

When I went to school (and this was back in early 2000) most of the international students I was friends with (and all form a different set of countries, both from Europe and Asia) all would get US based financial aid (especially loans) and of course all bragged about not having to worry about paying the loans back since they were not going to stay int he US>

Not sure if this attitude still exists or can be gotten away with today.

Re:International Students Pay More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404379)

Credit scores are international, just like the credit companies that use them.

Re:International Students Pay More (0)

drsmithy (35869) | about 2 years ago | (#40404461)

I can assure you that any "credit score" you might have in another country is utterly irrelevant to banks and lending facilities within the US, and I see little reason to believe it is any different going in the opposite direction.

Re:International Students Pay More (1)

Tuidjy (321055) | about 2 years ago | (#40404695)

I wonder which 'school' you went to. I was an international student myself. We were not talking about how we were going to default on our student loans, we were all talking about how we were going to negotiate our one year of practical training into green cards.

It took me only 18 months to pay off my 53K loans but it took me 7 more years, and 16K to get the green card. Of course, I was handicapped by trying to remain as independent from the company employing me as possible. I still do not know whether it was a good idea. I am still with the same company, but I keep telling myself that I would not have been able to negotiate my present compensation if my immigration lawyer had been in their pocket.

But to come back to the subject - no, international students do not come to the US to cheat it from its student loans. They either come for the prestige, and then they usually do not need loans, or they come for the education, and try to get the best job they can handle. When I graduated (1996, CompSci) that still meant the US. In any case, I know only three guys who returned to their home countries. One defaulted on his loans, but only because he was snatched by the military of his home country when he attended his brother wedding, and had his life and career ruined for trying to skip on his military service. The other two went back to start businesses who work with the US, and very much care about US credit rating and reputation.

Re:International Students Pay More (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 2 years ago | (#40405617)

And it's even better then that (worse?)

When I went to school (and this was back in early 2000) most of the international students I was friends with (and all form a different set of countries, both from Europe and Asia) all would get US based financial aid (especially loans) and of course all bragged about not having to worry about paying the loans back since they were not going to stay int he US>

Not sure if this attitude still exists or can be gotten away with today.

I call bullshit on this. When doing my MS in CS, most of my classmates were from India and China. None of them could receive financial aid or student loans. Some could get a US scholarship if they were doing a Ph.D. and were the creme-de-la-creme, but the majority had to pay out-state-fees out of pocket... and they could only come to study if they could prove the means for paying health insurance and stuff like that. For Indian and Chinese families, even those in the middle class, that's a fortune.

On top of that, they had to pay dorm fees. What they could get was student assistance as paid teaching assistance, and that was it, enough for groceries. It certainly made us American students all the more grateful for all the assistance we got from the government and the private sector.

Seriously, to what university you went to? Spill the beans.

Re:International Students Pay More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404347)

As a Californian, i must add that a lot of university administration is grossly overpaid, and votes on their own pay raises(300K a year? really?) even as they hike tuition. Students are angry, rioting, and breaking shit for good reasons. Schools are also becoming increasingly bureaucratic and top-heavy, hiring overpaid "experts" for glorified bullshit office jobs like diversity. Ain't no amount of "diversity" administration gonna change the fact that 90% of UCSD students are Asian.

That, along with the increasing allocation of slots to foreign students, has the effect of displacing too-poor-to-pay university students into community colleges, which in turn are facing budget cuts. A first-time student in my community college district must start with only one class and are not allowed to take more than 1 until subsequent semesters.

After 10 years in community college, I'm finally gonna get my A.S. in computer science this fall. Congratulate me.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:International Students Pay More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40405087)

As someone who finished up an AS In Computer Programming 2 years back (after a similiar decade long stint.) Congratulations. Maybe you have better luck in the job market than the rest of us with AS's :)

Re:International Students Pay More (0, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40404489)

Not quite. Typical "only can see things from our perspective" bullshit. I thought multiculturalism, as taught in our universities, eliminated this sort of "us first" thinking? Try thinking of another culture's viewpoint for once in your life, and maybe you'll gain some insight.

The kids who go to overseas universities from China failed the gaokao, the Chinese SAT. They couldn't get admitted to a good local university, so their parents bought them a place in a foreign university. Prestige? Laughable. There's no prestige. The Chinese students in American universities don't mix with the [dirty] local students. They keep to themselves, speak Chinese, and the males keep the females in line and don't allow them boyfriends. What about the males taking American girlfriends, you say? Well, let's be honest that American girls are openly racist and will not take any Asian boyfriend (except a few outliers, of course). On the other hand, American males are total losers and try incessantly to take Chinese females as girlfriends - this is why the Chinese males police their own and do not allow mixing. WM/AF couples are openly despised by Western feminists, and running afoul of feminists is not something you want to do on campus, of all places. âoeSorry, white man and Asian woman. You seem like nice enough people, and we accept the general idea of interracial relationships, but your union is wrong because other nice people out there arenâ(TM)t getting together at the same rate you are. Youâ(TM)ve used up your quota. Try again in a year or two.â [shanghaishiok.com]. Who wants to be on the wrong side of this argument?

The really wrong part comes when the Chinese students fail to perform and it's grading time. What are you going to do, TA? Fail a student who is paying top dollar to attend? No. Absolutely not. The Chinese student will receive the grade he's paying for. What, do the typical "fail 50% of freshmen on general principles" bullshit? No, that's for Americans paying in-state tuition. Fail a few hundred Chinese students, and the word will get around in China that America is not the place to send your failing kids. Hey, if they were actually talented, they would have qualified for a Chinese university in the first place! American universities understand this, and give the grades for which they're being paid. It's a win-win situation for both parties. American universities get to pay for their incredible administration expenses, and Chinese parents get their kid a diploma that he couldn't qualify for in China. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:International Students Pay More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404753)

+1 amusing, xenophobic rant.

Re:International Students Pay More (3, Informative)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#40405641)

You, sir, are a racist asshole. I'm a college professor at a college that actively recruits Chinese students. I guess I missed the faculty meeting where they told us to never let Chinese students fail, because I fail them just as often as American students.

You're right, that these Chinese students have generally failed the Chinese university admission test. But a lot of Americans don't get SAT scores good enough to get into MIT either. The difference between the Chinese and American systems is that in the US, we have a broad range of institutions, with different expectations and admissions criteria, so if you don't get into MIT, there are other places you can go -- and many of them have lots of experience teaching students at your level, so you'll learn more than you would at MIT. In China, you either get into the top school in the nation, or you don't go to college.

The Chinese aren't washouts or entitled rich brats any more than American students are. They're coming here because they want the same things American students do: education that matches their talents, at a price they can afford. You worry about Chinese students applying pressure to colleges to avoid failure. I haven't seen it happen, but it's not a new thing: wealthy Americans have been trying this for centuries. And at a college with integrity, Chinese who want to bribe their way to a degree will have no more luck than the countless Americans who've tried it.

Re:International Students Pay More (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 2 years ago | (#40405481)

So... when does higher education bubble burst? Everyone is expecting it to. It makes no sense that while the economy is tanking, colleges can just continue to charge more money at rates considerably higher than cost of living adjustments...

They can for as long as there are 'enough' students, domestic or otherwise, to keep them in business.

Free education is a benefit to society, but in America there's too much anti-socialism and anti-service sentiment at this point so yes, we're seeing a reversion to the middle ages where only the wealthy could afford education.

take that china (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404053)

this must explain the motivation behind Americans sabotaging their education system with creationism and such

Not Just Because of Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404113)

Admission to colleges in China is based off one major national exam that each student takes (called Gao Kao in Chinese or something like that), which is much more competitive than U.S. college admissions. Chinese students stress so much for this exam that they take summer classes and spend extra time with their teachers going over material to get some kind of competitive edge (It's like going to SAT classes, but much more stressful and less BS). I think many Chinese students flock to the U.S. because admission to U.S. universities of prestige similar to that of many Chinese universities is less stressful and grueling (and because one exam shouldn't determine a student's future).

SO THEY can take out loans and go home (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#40404139)

SO THEY can take out loans and go home and never pay them off.

Re:SO THEY can take out loans and go home (1)

tommituura (1346233) | about 2 years ago | (#40404227)

I would suppose that if this kind of behavior was widespread, the people with money could simply stop give out loans to them? Or require heftier collaterals?

IQ vs Street Smarts (-1, Flamebait)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 2 years ago | (#40404169)

There are at least two kinds of intelligence. Call the first one "IQ". It is the memorization of facts and conclusions. Anything that you can add "and it will always be so and we know WHY it it will always be so" to.

Examples include 5*25=125, the capital of the USA in 2011 is Washington DC, Mozart was phenomenally good composer for his time. The ratio of the circumference of a circle to it's diameter is constant.

Basically, anything you can score on an IQ test.

Non-American schools do very well teaching those kinds of things. They are known and can't be reasonably argued.

But a huge number of things aren't like that. These are the things that are far more complex. Such as why exactly does Barry Manilow suck. Communism works great for small groups (smaller than 10 people) but works horrible for large groups (larger than 100 people). People blame the President for the economy, even if though it's almost always Congress's fault.

Those kinds of things America works real well at because they take SOCIAL SKILLS. It involves dealing with controversy, arguments, and idiots on un-named web message boards.

And America is the king of social skills. We teach people how to get along without the rule of an Iron Fist.

Social skills, sometimes called "Street Smarts", is one of the things we do very very well.

Re:IQ vs Street Smarts (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40404225)

Only at the top end private schools. The comprehensives for the normal people are all about the grades, and good school grades are achieved through memorisation. You can't test complex thinking easily.

Re:IQ vs Street Smarts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404353)

There are at least two kinds of intelligence. Call the first one "IQ". It is the memorization of facts and conclusions. Anything that you can add "and it will always be so and we know WHY it it will always be so" to.

This is a terrible definition of IQ.

Re:IQ vs Street Smarts (5, Insightful)

proslack (797189) | about 2 years ago | (#40404373)

You've obviously never taken a real IQ test if you think it is all about "memorization of facts and conclusions". The primary objective is assessment of reasoning and cognitive ability. Analogies, puzzles, spatial reasoning.

Re:IQ vs Street Smarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406737)

IQ tests are basically some jackass's understanding of what IQ is. Hence a musical prodigy will still come up with an IQ of 100 or 110 while the janitor will have an IQ of 150 but will be incapable of doing much.

It is like the GRE and GMAT. Study for an extra month or two - increase the damn score by 100 or 200.

Re:IQ vs Street Smarts (4, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | about 2 years ago | (#40404529)

Those kinds of things America works real well at because they take SOCIAL SKILLS. It involves dealing with controversy, arguments, and idiots on un-named web message boards.

And America is the king of social skills. We teach people how to get along without the rule of an Iron Fist.

America's definition of "compromise" is "our way or the highway". It's not social skills you're good at, it's might makes right.

not because of "note memorization" (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404185)

Disclaimer: I am from China.

From where I stand and what I observed from my friends and relatives, one important reason of sending their kids abroad is because they want to evade some of the selection process in the Chinese education system, like the national entrance exam for colleges, which is extremely competitive. Do they really care about the quality of the education? I am not so sure. It is a strategic and trendy thing to do, at least for many families I know.

Weird (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 2 years ago | (#40404199)

It's so weird that people say the U.S. educational system is so bad, yet things like this happen (people coming from other countries to attend). I mean below college/university level. (Though even community colleges get many people coming from other countries -- even weirder.)

Re:Weird (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40404479)

For the same reason people keep saying "U.S. internet is slow" but if you look at the actual numbers we are in third place (tied with the European Union)*, behind Japan and Korea, but ahead of China, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Brazil, et cetera. Oftentimes common knowledge like "education sucks" and "internet is slow" and "Betamax failed because it didn't allow porn" is provably wrong when you actually dig into the subject and uncover the real truth.

*
*source: speedtest

Re:Weird (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | about 2 years ago | (#40404743)

There are two things in the American system that are invaluable for Chinese students: English and textbooks.

The ruling class in China have for the past 2000 yeas adopted a policy of manipulating the language to make people obedient. This has been going on for so many generations that now even the upper class themselves have to resort to foreign sources for proper education.

I know this is difficult to believe. Can one of the oldest surviving civilizations be so corrupted? Actually this kind of culture is very resistant to any change and thus achieve a strong cultural grip on next generations. Of course the disadvantage is stagnancy and lost opportunity for people to pursue their full potential.

The current trend of foreign education is definitely good for China, especially if students start that at an early age. The Chinese education system is designed to indoctrinate for the purpose of totalitarianism. But it is very difficult for young people to see through that, for the same reason that sophism has existed. I hope Chinese students who have had the opportunity to receive liberal education will awaken to China's intellectual reality and start thinking of ways to change the intellectual side of Chinese culture.

Re:Weird (1)

elflord (9269) | about 2 years ago | (#40405713)

Grad school programs in the US are pretty good. People come from all over the place. Students from other countries (UK, Europe, Australia) are usually better prepared than their US counterparts. The US education system isn't so much uniformly "bad", it's just quite variable. Some students take first year grad courses in their final year and come out with a very strong background, but others are taking 9th grade math in college. Some students also come over because it's a reasonable path to immigration, so even if the programs themselves weren't very good, being in the country can open doors.

The US's is better? (3, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | about 2 years ago | (#40404317)

Don't we keep getting articles posted about how poor the US educational system is?

I guess our educational system is the same as our democracy, it's the worst kind of that type (education/government,) except for all the others that have been tried?

Re:The US's is better? (3, Insightful)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 2 years ago | (#40404505)

It's also trendy to bash anything U.S. on Slashdot.

Re:The US's is better? (3, Interesting)

scot4875 (542869) | about 2 years ago | (#40404913)

It's also trendy to bash anything U.S. on Slashdot.

Fuck that butthurt noise.

I'm a US citizen. I can handle seeing statistics that show that my country is lagging others in some ways. To me, that's a call that we should be looking for ways to improve -- not that we should rationalize why the statistics aren't valid.

As a whole, US citizens seem to be *extremely* sensitive to criticism. We've been told all our lives that we're special, we're #1, we can't be beat. Then when we see data that suggesting, hey, maybe someone else is #1, instead of looking to better ourselves we go sit in a corner and cry and attack whoever provided the data and staunchly refuse to acknowledge that we could *possibly* be doing anything wrong.

It's really sad, and you can see it all the time. I'm a US citizen, and I apologize for all the butthurt whining from people like CubicleZombie here.

--Jeremy

Re:The US's is better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40405575)

There's a fine line between rooting for the home team and being a sell-out. You seem to be the type that whispers and bashes people from the inside only to realign yourself when there's something in it for you.

The problem with America is that we have too many of these types...

Re:The US's is better? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404605)

'Don't we keep getting articles posted about how poor the US educational system is?'

That's why they come. They can't make it in China so they go to the US, where every moron can pass.
Like the slackers in Europe, they study German in France and French in Germany, because it's much easier to pass than the other way 'round.

Re:The US's is better? (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#40404975)

Don't we keep getting articles posted about how poor the US educational system is?

Key distinction: The US *grade school* educational system is awful. The US college/university system is excellent. It kinda has to be, to repair the intellectual shambles found in the average US high school graduate's head.

(Full disclosure: I'm a college professor, so I'm kinda biased.)

Re:The US's is better? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 2 years ago | (#40405197)

(Correction: I should have said American K-12 is awful, not just grade school.)

Re:The US's is better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40405719)

The U.S. Higher Ed. system is just as pathetic--in most cases, more so--than the K-12 system. Your supposed theory that the professors "pick up the slack for the poor results they get during orientation" is asinine because it was those idiots that baked the current batch of teachers teaching K-12!

Higher Ed. in this country... ...is fluffy. ...is taught by unqualified instructors who can't get their pompous heads out from their puckered holes long enough to admit that sometimes, they might be wrong. ...is obnoxious and oftentimes unrelated to what one would expect from the pitch which is thrown at every college pamphlet frosh received during their orientation. ...has more red tape than a fire sale at some mall. ...is grossly over-quoted. ...is very inconvenient and often inaccessible, depending on what it is you wish to go to school for.

There's so many problems with the U.S. Higher Ed. system that it's completely out-of-control and overwhelming--which is why it continues today: nobody knows what to do about it!

One thing that will nip some of that shit in the ass is the elimination of tenure. And yes, I'd bet my life that it's coming; it's only a matter of time.

Re:The US's is better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40407183)

Just because you went to a crappy school and got into fights with your instructors doesn't mean the education system is broken :)

Some people just can't be helped...

Re:The US's is better? (2, Interesting)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#40405061)

The grade school system is terrible and needs improvement. Luckily they do not run the university system. The US consistently has more top universities than any other country.

US News and World Report: http://www.usnews.com/education/worlds-best-universities-rankings/top-400-universities-in-the-world [usnews.com]
ARWU (compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University): http://www.arwu.org/ARWU2010.jsp [arwu.org]
QS World Rankings (compiled by a London corp): http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2011 [topuniversities.com]

French universities get underrated in rankings (2)

darthium (834988) | about 2 years ago | (#40406531)

The grade school system is terrible and needs improvement. Luckily they do not run the university system. The US consistently has more top universities than any other country.

US News and World Report: http://www.usnews.com/education/worlds-best-universities-rankings/top-400-universities-in-the-world [usnews.com] ARWU (compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University): http://www.arwu.org/ARWU2010.jsp [arwu.org] QS World Rankings (compiled by a London corp): http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2011 [topuniversities.com]

One Small example, Stanford, who is #3 in several rankings, has 8 Nobel laureates and 1 Fields Medal among its alumni, pretty good isn't it?

However, this example is completed with the École normale supérieure - Paris (usually out of the top30), despite being very small (compared to the number of Stanford students), it has 12 Nobel laureates and 10 Fields medal.

In France, research isn't as strictly linked to the university (due to the way legal setting is there), as it is in the US, I guess that makes such universities decrease their ratings, and gives US unviersities an advantege in the evaluation (papers and citations generated from the university are evaluated and have weight).

Re:The US's is better? (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 years ago | (#40405705)

There's a difference between primary education and higher education, both in the material taught, and what you as a student are supposed to learn from it.

Primary education exists to teach you the basics, to build a foundation, lay the groundwork. Higher education is where you take everything you learned previously to a higher level. You apply it. You improve it. You make it fit you and the way you want your life to be.

The U.S. is failing miserably at primary education. But it excels at higher education. The latter is easier, mostly because by the time you reach higher education, you're expected to have figured out how to learn already. That this is true is both ironic, and tragic. It means that despite having one of the best higher education systems in the world, the kids at home can't even take advantage of it. It means that in 50, 100 years, the cream of the crop is not going to be here, but in other countries where the primary education remains strong.

It is for this very reason that there are more and more foreign students. If the domestic student pool was significantly better than the foreign student pool, I suspect that the other factors like the amount of money a school could charge one versus the other wouldn't nearly be as important. But as it isn't, the barrier to entry for foreign students is lower than where it should be.

Re:The US's is better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406401)

I think many who make such claims about the education system are referring to public K-12 schooling, not colleges like Harvard....

Re:The US's is better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406939)

The good thing of the US is the multicultural education ... it's full of Chinese teachers.

we reluctantly admited more in 1980s (2)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#40404377)

My graduate department had more research money than students. More Americans were going into the booming job force with lower degrees. We and our employers preferred more Americans because they had better English skills. But we all adapted to changing talent pool. Once we became mostly international students, we stayed that way.

Rise in science/math is due to.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40404411)

As a member of the industry advisory board to a top 10 engineering school in the country (posting anonymously) - I can attest this influx of, especially Chinese, students is true. I was looking at enrollment numbers and there was a nice growing line in computer science. This made me happy. I asked about it and they showed me another graph. ALL the growth for the last 5 years is due to foreign students. US student enrollment was flat and a near straight line with no growth. Now, easily 1/3 of the enrollment for CS is foreign - and it'll be 1/2 very shortly.

Some thing missing here. (2)

jvillain (546827) | about 2 years ago | (#40404849)

Normal Chinese citizens are not allowed to take money out of China. Many would like to do that just in case things go bust or the political scene changes. There is a loop hole however. Chineese students can take vast sums of money out of China if it is to help them learn abroad. The last previous condo I was renting was worth ~$700,000. The owner a 20 year lady from China studying at UBC. Lots of Chinese parents use their kids to get money out of the country.

A lifesaver for many colleges (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40405181)

I'm a professor. My college's strategy for dealing with the economic crisis basically boils down to "let's get us some wealthy Chinese students up in here." They don't qualify for financial aid or tuition reduction, so it's full-price, cash money on the table. And it's a great cross-cultural thing for both them and our American students.

Somebody elsewhere said that bringing in Chinese students is wrong, because they are displacing qualified American students. But for many colleges, that's not how it works right now. With the economy down, colleges are having more trouble filling seats with qualified students who can pay. Chinese students aren't kicking out Americans: they're taking empty seats left by Americans who can't afford college because their Dad got laid off. (That shouldn't be allowed to happen. But trust me, it does.)

One bad effect of the Chinese influx is that it does allow colleges to keep charging high tuitions rather than lowering them as the demand drops. But for a lot of reasons (tenure, pension debt, health insurance costs), tuition prices are not very elastic. For quite a few colleges, the choice is stark: admit more international students, or wither and die.

It's not about the quality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40405191)

see, in Asian societies, being able to send your child abroad, esp to the US, is one of those credentials the rich like to bestow their children on, thereby ensuring that they will further improve their English language skills and get a nice diploma. Nobody in Daddy's or some other high profile company on the mainland will later give two shits whether junior _actually_ learned anything over there as long as he can show of his new, slightly less awful English skills and maybe the newest iphone/luxury item xyz you can't easily buy at home...

Course there's also a bunch of highly qualified bright BA graduates that go to the US on a scholarship or on their own and will write a great Master or Phd Thesis, then continue to work in the states or return home and actually achieve something based on their merits and not on who their father is, but that's the minority.

Re:It's not about the quality... (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 2 years ago | (#40405439)

The highly qualified one usually goes to the top-ranked universities, while the trust-fund-kids goes to the no-name ones.

Shaun Rein = douchebag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40405589)

China’s education system has serious weaknesses, and the Chinese are well aware of them. As I argue in my recently released book, The End of Cheap China, Chinese parents are acutely aware that the Chinese educational system focuses too much on rote memorization and doesn’t give students enough training in morality and extracurricular activity. Prepping students to get high test scores does not translate into teaching them to think critically.

What Shaun Rein wrote is probably the last reason the Chinese choose to go overseas.

Here are some real reasons (are you writing these down Shaun?):

(1) they failed to gain admission in their local university.
(2) they want to learn English (French, German, ...), or they may just like the culture.
(3) some schools have stand out faculties.

"serious weaknesses" is condescending if not Sinophobic wishful thinking.
If anything the average Chinese school operates at a higher level than the average American counterpart.

Support for education (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406535)

Well, since the US Congress and most state governments are no longer supporting higher education, SOMEONE has to pay the salaries of our university professors! This isn't a matter of "each seat taken by a foreigner is one less for an American to sit in". It is more a matter of "they are willing to pay for a top-flight education - we aren't". Sad, isn't it?

Double Edge Sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40406585)

Educating children of China can go both ways. Sure they'll be exposed to ideas of our country and have leg up on their Chinese educated counter-parts (if China's school system is actually improving by more educated folks from overseas.), but this can work other way around. Their culture is geared to serve the state, and China. I've seen this in US Citizens who are still loyal to the home land regardless them immigrating to the US. Conditions over there were really bad from what I was told while ago, all those tube-video screens (CRTs) when there along with our e-waste. Recycling and environmental conditions were arguable could still be bad. Why? Corruption. How are these newly educated rich Chinese families going over come a built-in economic and political nation built on corruption?

Either they get more craftier from tricks US teaching them, or they go no where. US could easily fall behind in education due to inflation, but as long as their US still "free" they'll have a leg up.

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