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Argument: Foreign students generally cover their costs with little subsidization

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Supporting quotes from the Economist Online debates

  • Frances Cairncross. The Economist Debate Series. The Proposition’s Rebuttal. December 14th, 2007 - "One of the issues that looks different from the two sides of the Big Pond is that of student finance. In America, says Ms Vaughan, the taxpayer carries part of the burden of financing foreign students. By contrast, in Britain, the government has imposed a cap on what universities can charge students from Britain and from the EU. (Why the EU? Because Community law says that you cannot discriminate in favour of students from one country.) But there is no cap on the fees that universities can charge foreign students. Result: students from “overseas” (ie, non-EU) pay what the market will bear. And luckily for us, foreign students are willing to pay substantially for a British education."
  • Art Teacher, commenter. Economist Online Debate Series, Education 2. December 14, 2007 13:17 - "The only real argument against foreign students has to do with public funding, and here I just have a hard time believing everything you say. For example, "No student, foreign or local, pays enough in tuition to cover the actual cost of the education." I, for one, paid full price for four years at one of the most expensive schools in America. Did my $120,000 not fully cover all the costs? My one example is not a statistic, yet statistics themselves must be very specific to make any argument. That's why it's disappointing that most statistics mentioned in this debate don't mention which country they're talking about, if they're a global figure, or even how they're figured. For example, the stat you quoted from the NAS combines domestic and foreign students, thereby hiding any differences between the two categories. The average paid also seems extremely low, considering the average price tag from most American schools, and it would be illuminating to see how they came up with the number. I looked up their report, but haven't yet deciphered all of it. Any interested party can read it here: http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11174As for this, "IIE�€™s own data show that 11 percent of foreign undergraduate students and 47 percent of foreign graduate students are supported �€œprimarily�€� by the host college or university with scholarships, tuition waivers, employment, or fellowships", These percentages are not a majority, nor do they prove that foreign students get more than they pay. I can't help but wonder, if they really received more than they paid, why wouldn't you just say that instead, with specific numbers? You seem to be trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Furthermore, student jobs are not subsidies - the students work and earn what little money they make. You also say, "I have yet to see a comprehensive analysis for any country that accounts for the cost of hosting these same students". Such an analysis would be very difficult, especially without active participation of foreign students. You'd have to weigh any special subsidies, housing, heating, electricity, food, etc for them versus all the money they spend on rent, heating, electricity, food, clothing, entertainment, taxes, charity, etc, for every large country. Somehow I again find it hard to believe that these students would be getting more than they pay anywhere, especially in the US."

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