The Closed Open Door

Speaking of college students, the number coming from other countries to attend American universities was up by only six-tenths of a percent this school year, the smallest increase in seven years. The reason, of course, is that new regulations put in place since September 11, 2001 make it tougher for students, or anyone else, to enter the US for any reason other than to visit DisneyWorld. And with the State Department making a visa even tougher to get, even more foreign students will go elsewhere to study.

Well, so what?! Why should we want foreigners taking up spaces at our high quality American colleges?

U.S. schools want foreign students both for the revenue they bring in – the IIE [Institute of International Education] said international students spend up to $12 billion annually between tuition and other expenses – and their contributions to academic research. A continuing decline in foreign student enrollment "may damage our ability to attract the best and the brightest," said Alice Gast, vice president of research and associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Good reasons but how about the idea that we are part of a larger world community and once in a while we should talk to and learn from each other. Or is that an anti-American concept too.