International Students At Berkeley Shaped Modern Views Of Diversity

September 10, 2015

International Students at Berkeley Shaped Modern Views of Diversity

September 10, 2015 - The argument that cultural and other forms of diversity enhance the educational experience of all students is generally associated with post-1960 efforts to expand the presence of disadvantaged groups on the campuses of America’s universities and colleges. Yet, as CSHE researcher John Douglass explains in the new article, “International Berkeley” published in the academic journal Voprosy Obrazovaniya, arguments on the merits of cultural diversity have much earlier roots in the historical enrollment of international students. In the case of the University of California-Berkeley, debates in the late 1800s and early twentieth century revolved around the appropriateness of enrolling foreign students, particularly those from Asia. The result was an important intellectual discussion on the merits of diversity that was eventually reframed to focus largely on underrepresented domestic students. Douglass discusses how the notion of diversity and its educational benefits first emerged as a value at Berkeley, resulting in the significant increase of international students at Berkeley and other public universities, especially in recent years. Thus far, the primary impetus for this recent increase has been mostly financial—Berkeley has faced significant public disinvestment, seeks new revenue sources, and can charge international students tuition rates similar to those of elite private colleges and universities. By targeting some 20 percent of all undergraduates as international or out-of-state (US-resident non-Californians)— the majority international—the Berkeley campus is essentially diversifying its student body. How does having more globally inclusive enrollment fit into our contemporary ideas of diversity? What policy challenges are posed with the dramatic increase in international students at the undergraduate level at Berkeley and at other UC campuses? Douglass explores these issues. Voprosy Obrazovaniya (Russian Journal of Educational Studies) is published in both Russian and English. Info on Author: John Aubrey Douglass is Senior Research Fellow – Public Policy and Higher Education at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley and a co-founding PI of the Student Experience in the Research Consortium. His new book,The New Flagship University, will be published in late 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan.

CONTACT: John Aubrey Douglass