Norman Augustine on the future of the US

Philip Miller Tate philmt59 at
Sun Feb 8 07:01:32 CST 2009

On 7 Feb 2009, at 15:49, Joseph Bento wrote:

> I'm sure you see it on a daily basis, Phil.  As a professor, what  
> is the ratio of foreign born students to British nationals in your  
> classes?  What is the ratio of foreign to native students that  
> complete their studies and actually graduate?  Upon graduation, how  
> many foreign students remain in the UK to apply their newfound  
> wealth of knowledge to benefit the UK?

Well Joe, the situation is a bit different over here, but the outcome  
is the same. In the UK we have a surfeit of University places  
intended to fulfill the government's aim of pushing more than 50% of  
the population through a University degree, whether they are truly  
capable of it or not. Most of our undergraduate population are home  
students (though of asian or afro-caribbean descent), but they don't  
want R&D careers - they all want to go into marketing. By contrast,  
most of our postgraduate students are of Arabic or Oriental origin,  
and few will remain in the UK after completion.

The one exception to this rule is that we have good recruitment to  
our undergraduate courses from European students who have a much  
better school education, want to learn and work in an English- 
speaking environment, and are hamstrung in their own countries by  
limited University places in science and little or no employment  
prospects in science. These include students from France, Italy,  
Spain and even Germany (especially the former East Germany). These  
students are a delight to teach, and many will remain to work in the  
UK after graduation. Meanwhile, our under-educated UK workforce are  
striking over jobs going to EU nationals. Until some deeply- 
entrenched opinions change in the UK population, we are going to  
continue to struggle.

Phil M1GWZ

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