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A Shameful Quota

Record readers will have noted this op-ed, by some kooky alum, on the quota for international students at Williams. (Related Ephblog posts here and here.) The piece ends with:

What is the solution? No sensible person recommends radical change. Start with small steps. First, select the best candidates from the waitlist to fill out the Class of 2010. Odds are that the vast majority of these will be international students. Second, increase the quota to 10 percent for the Class of 2011. If Harvard is 9 percent international, why is Williams 6 percent? Third, President Schapiro should appoint a committee of students, faculty and alumni to study the issue and report to the community. The 2002 ad hoc faculty committee on athletics provides a useful model. With more data and analysis, we will all have a better sense of what the policy should be.

Of course, to get this process started, what we really need is a student group to agitate for change. Perhaps EAIQ: Ephs Against International Quotas. Those who don’t fight against international quotas now will seem as benighted in the eyes of our children as the Jew-baiters of 1920 appear to us today.

Brilliant, eh? Comments:

1) I am still trying to get to the bottom of the issue of targeted pools of financial aid. The claim has been made that Williams has a specific, international-only pool of money for financial aid. The target of 6% derives from the size of that pool. This might be true, but note that the College does not give this as a reason. Does anyone have better details?

2) Why isn’t there more campus controversy over this? Consider yesterday’s “candlelight vigil commemorating the lives of immigrants that were lost while trying to cross the border.” Nothing wrong with vigils, but shouldn’t students who care about the welfare of Mexicans be concerned that Williams turns down (many?) Mexican applicants each year just because they are Mexican, applicants who it would instantly accept if they lived on the other side of the Rio Grande? I would have thought so.

The thing about quotas is that, if you’re a current Williams student, even a current Williams international student, they aren’t a big deal. You made it.

I also would have expected leadership from the faculty on this issue. Is there not a single faculty member who thinks that quotas on international students are a bad idea? Faculty meetings are a great time to ask awkward questions. I also hope that the Record pursues this topic. Administration officials should be forced to explain and justify the policy. Why does Williams need a quota which puts our international enrollment almost 50% lower than Yale or Harvard’s? Dick Nesbitt, Nancy Roseman and Morty Schapiro should all get this question from the Record.

Other than a single e-mail from another alum, I see no interest in fighting this injustice. But I suppose that this was the way that most Williams students would have felt about Jew quotas in the 1920s . . .

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#1 Comment By Neal On April 19, 2006 @ 11:49 am

Does Kane object to the targeting of a male/female balance if it unfairly burdens higher-achieving female high school students?

#2 Comment By (d)HTK On April 19, 2006 @ 11:51 am

Yeow !! And who’s keeping their eye on the College’s contribution to the Greylock Regional High School budget while the Blogmeister is tilting at this issue?

#3 Comment By David On April 19, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

1) There is no evidence that, among elite schools, one needs to give significant preference to one gender over the other to maintain balance.

2) There is plenty of evidence that both men and women strongly prefer a school with balance. Note that colleges like Williams all went co-ed at the same time, not (just) because of a high-minded commitment to equality, but because men made it clear that they preferred colleges with women.

With international discrimination on the other hand, the amount of bias is huge (and growing) and there is no evidence that, say, doubling the percentage of international students at Williams would hurt Williams ability to compete with other schools. Yale and Harvard still seem to get plenty of applications.

#4 Comment By Bill ’04 On April 19, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

Along the lines of what Neal said how can you support, a “quota” on white and asian students, so that less qualified URM’s can get in?

More importantly, I believe Williams still resides in America. As much as some people wish that these artificial nation-state borders were removed, we still live in a society that values citizenship, though less and less more recently. Thus the goal should not only be to get the best students, but the best American students. Williams has an interest in the security of the United States, not only in it being maybe the last bastion of free speech (comedy central’s cowardly censorship of Mohammed notwithstanding)but in the security it provides the college. Taking pride in and doing its best to educated American citizens should be a priority.

#5 Comment By horses mouth On April 19, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

Really no evidence?

#6 Comment By Neal On April 19, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

Kane,

In your Op-Ed, you write dismissively when saying:

Amazingly, the arguments used today in defense of this policy are virtually identical to those used 80 years ago. For example, Jim Kolesar, director of public affairs, claims that “a college that gave itself over to educating mainly international students, which is eventually what would happen given the numbers, would have a significantly different mission, very different standing with U.S. prospective students, and greatly altered relationship with government, donors, etc.”

Yet, you answer my question about male-female balancing with the following:

2) There is plenty of evidence that both men and women strongly prefer a school with balance. Note that colleges like Williams all went co-ed at the same time, not (just) because of a high-minded commitment to equality, but because men made it clear that they preferred colleges with women.

How can Jim’s considerations not be relevant? Colleges like Williams and their peers went Co-Ed *around* the same time, but it was primarily guesswork then to what would keep the schools competitive or in line with some institutional goal. Jim suggests that the college would have a different standing with US students if it went more international. Couldn’t similar arguments have been made (at the time with little empirical data) to say that men would stop coming if women were not admitted? Today, perhaps at some schools gender-balancing matters. I have a hard time thinking Harvard couldn’t fill an unbelievably talented class with a 70/30 ratio if that’s what merit decided. 30 years ago, maybe men demanded that women be admitted or they’d go elsewhere, but are you so sure that is applicable today if it was merely a dispute over rations?

In the end, college admissions is not driven stricly by “merit” (I put merit in quotes because what I really mean is ‘academic talent’ which has commonly been equated with the more general notion of worthiness or merit). If you start with the premise that it is, or even should be, then you’ll lead into these problems of seemingly unconscionable wrongs. Crafting a college student body is an inexact science, and Jim Koselar’s reasoning is no more inadequate than guesswork in other aspects that I would imagine you would support. Policies regarding athletes, legacies, etc. are all based on similar conjecture.

The question of whether or not Williams would be able to compete effectively with other schools if it doubled its international students is not central to the debate. At best, it’s tangential if one establishes that one of the many goals of crafting a student body is to be competitive with certain other institutions.

Williams is a special place, but it is not so because it is a meritocracy. You seem willing to concede this on some grounds, but not others. One willing to play this fanatical game of injustice based on merit can’t also say things like “developmental admits of extremely wealthy donors should be admitted” as if they were a truism.

This is not to say that I believe colleges should be country clubs, or havens for arbitrarily elite groups, but I think its blind to make strictly ‘merit’ based arguments.

#7 Comment By David On April 19, 2006 @ 1:33 pm

1) With regard to the Kenyon op-ed. I was referring to “elite” colleges, to Williams and the 20 or so places like it. There are issues of gender-balance at less competitive colleges but not at Williams. Larry Summers’ much-maligned observations about the greater standard deviation of male test scores helps explain this. There may be more women then men that score about 1000 combined on the SAT. There are not more that score above 1400. There are many difficulties with Williams admissions. Needing different standards for male/female applicants is not one of them.

2) With regard to Bill’s comment, it depends on what you think the goal or mission of Williams should be. If you think the goal is to be the best college in America, then you might have a point. But I think that the goal is (according to Morty) and should be to be the best college in the world. If you want to be the best college in the world, you need the best students in the world.

Now you probably need to have a common language, almost certainly English, so American students will have an advantage. But it is highly unlikely that 94% of the best English-fluent 18 year-olds in the world are America citizens.

I will resist the urge to do one of my replace-quotes with your comment, substituting “Christian” for “American” and whatnot. Again, I am not saying that this world view is bad; I am just pointing out that it is indistinguishable from that of 75 years ago.

Neal’s comments deserve their own reply.

#8 Comment By hwc On April 19, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

Just a small historical correction:

The all-male colleges all went co-ed around the same time, in part, because they all were looking at the same demographic data. That data predicted a precipitous decline in high school graduates through the 1970s following the end of the baby-boom demographic bulge that peaked in the 1960s. Had the all-male colleges not decided to double the size of their potential customer base by accepting women, they would have seen sharply reduced demand from the period 1970 through the early 1980s.

As a sidenote: Today, they are all seeing the same demographic data that predicts a decline in white high school graduates with sharp increases in Latino/Hispanic high school graduates and moderate increases in Asian American high school graduates. Some of the diversity efforts underway can be attributed to brand positioning for tomorrow’s demographics.

#9 Comment By Anonymous On April 19, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

David wrote:
2) With regard to Bill’s comment, it depends on what you think the goal or mission of Williams should be. If you think the goal is to be the best college in America, then you might have a point. But I think that the goal is (according to Morty) and should be to be the best college in the world. If you want to be the best college in the world, you need the best students in the world.

Actually, not true. If Williams wants to remain the best college in the US, it sorely needs best students in the world… Because if Williams does not get ’em, Middleburry or Pamona or (God forbid) Amherst will.

#10 Comment By David On April 19, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

A lot of the following is informed by Karabel’s The Chosen. I believe that I am proving an accurate description of the history.

Neal writes,

Colleges like Williams and their peers went Co-Ed *around* the same time, but it was primarily guesswork then to what would keep the schools competitive or in line with some institutional goal.

This is not true. It was clear to everyone involved that no elite school which refused admittance to women would stay elite for much longer. High quality applicants would only go to co-ed schools. No school had a choice. There was plenty of discussion of tactics and time (Should Yale merge with Vassar? Should Williams increase total enrollment?), but no school had a choice. There was little “guesswork.”

How can Jim’s considerations not be relevant?

In theory, they could be. It could be that increasing the enrollment of international students from 6% to 12% would make high quality US students less likely to apply/enroll. But there is no evidence for it! Moreover, there is lots of evidence in the other direction. Harvard and Yale are now at about 10% international. Have they had trouble attracting US applicants? No!

Again, I am not saying that Williams should go to 30% international tomorrow (although I predict that, before my 50th reunion, we will be at least at 30%). But we should have a committee that studies the issue and reports to the community. We can safely increase international enrollment at least to the level of Yale/Harvard.

Crafting a college student body is an inexact science, and Jim Koselar’s reasoning is no more inadequate than guesswork in other aspects that I would imagine you would support. Policies regarding athletes, legacies, etc. are all based on similar conjecture.

Kolesar’s reasoning is inadequate because it is not based on data and relevant comparisons. (Note that I do not think that Kolesar is so much “reasoning” as providing the official college line.)

Consider the comparison to athletics. Williams used to favor athletes X amount, leading in the 90s to sports dominance, both Directors Cup and “money sports” like football and men’s basketball. But, many people, including Morty, thought that X was too much, that the decrease in academic rigor was not worth it. So, we had a committee, gathered data and published some conclusions. This process led to (or, more likely, provided a justification for) a decrease in X. Athletes still get a preference, but it is lower.

We can see the results of this policy in the data, results that were predicted by many of the people who comment here. “Money sports” are less successful than they once were (the decrease in low band tips hurts here) while Directors Cup efforts still go well because many of the big point earners for Williams do not really depend on tips.

Now, we can agree with this change or not. But the process with which it was considered and completed was a good one. I simply calling for similar data-gathering and discussion with regard to the international quota. Who could object?

Williams is a special place, but it is not so because it is a meritocracy. You seem willing to concede this on some grounds, but not others. One willing to play this fanatical game of injustice based on merit can’t also say things like “developmental admits of extremely wealthy donors should be admitted” as if they were a truism.

This is not to say that I believe colleges should be country clubs, or havens for arbitrarily elite groups, but I think its blind to make strictly ‘merit’ based arguments.

I am not making a strictly “merit” based argument. I recognize, along with you, that the definition of merit in elite colleges has always been “those things that we want to see in our applicants.” Karabel points this out over and over again.

We all recognize that Williams has various reasons for different sorts of preferences. It is an empirical question what the size of those preferences currently are. It seems to be that the amount of discrimination against international applicants is much larger than most people realize, probably as large as that against Jews 75 years ago. The magnitude here is certainly greater than that given to legacies. How it compares to the tip and URM preferences is unclear to me.

Once we have clarified these empirical questions, we can move on to prudential judgments about what the preferences should be. We will all differ on this. My goal is, for now, to convince people that letting in an additional (really outstanding) 30 international students per class is worth the cost in terms of the US (URM, tip, legacy, whatever) applicants who will be denied a spot.

But, to make this judgment we need some data.

Show us the data!

#11 Comment By hwc On April 19, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

I was referring to “elite” colleges, to Williams and the 20 or so places like it. There are issues of gender-balance at less competitive colleges but not at Williams.

This is simply not true. Elite colleges have shown a heavy tilt towards female applicants for about the last ten years. Williams has been somewhat insulated from this because it has one of the strongest “male” brand identities — a function of its all-male history combined with its strong reputation as a “jock school” and increasingly as a “party school”, two brand characteristics that have more male appeal. This still isn’t strong enough to counter the overall demographics. The institution-specific brand identity simply meant that Williams turned the corner from male to female majority applicant pools later than schools with a more gender-neutral brand. For example, Swarthmore (which has a coed history and less of a “male” identified culture), turned the corner from majority male to majority female enrollment sometime between 1990 and 1995.

The corner for Williams came with applicants for fall 2000. That year, for the first time, Williams had equal numbers of female/male applicants. Since then, the applicant pool has tilted female. Last year, Williams has more female applicants than male (52% to 48%) and more females in the freshman class (52% to 48%).

This is a national trend that has nothing to do with USNEWS rankings. The only top-100 or so schools that still tilt male are those with readily identifiable characteristics — strong male-only histories and/or, for example, Washington and Lee with its “last bastion of the southern gentleman” image or a school the size of Davidson attempting to field Div IAA football teams. The size of men’s football and ice hockey squads, with no offsetting female teams, has tended to keep the small NESCAC schools tilted male a little longer. And, of course, the absence of female alumni until the current generation of applicants has slowed the shift a bit at the historically male schools. But, these factors simply dilute the impact of a clear, powerful demographic shift.

#12 Comment By David On April 19, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

There is some (very small) chance that I am wrong about this, but I doubt it. If anything, HWC’s data supports my points!

My claim is that Williams has no current problems with gender balance and faces no such problems in the near future.

At the highest level, if the applicants are almost 50/50, then (assuming equal distribution of talents) we would expect 50/50 admittance and then 50/50 enrollees. The law of large numbers is powerful.

In other words, even if you made the admissions process gender blind by removing all names and pronoun references, Williams would still be about 50/50. There is no need to have different standard for men and women because everything works out.

Now, even though more women are applying and going to college, this effect is de minimus at the tails, where Williams is. If anything, the problem at the tails is that men, with a higher standard deviation, are more like to be very high scorers (in grades and tests). As long as, say, AR 1’s are evenly distributed between men and women there is no problem.

I’d also wager that if you looked at AR rank or SAT scores among admitted students, you would find highly similar averages for men and women. The men’s averages are no lower (perhaps ignoring tips) because Williams does not need to discriminate in favor of men in order to have a 50/50 class.

Again, I could be wrong about this (and if anyone has data or anecdotes I would be glad to hear them), but I highly doubt it. If anything, I’d bet that the reverse is true, that Williams (perhaps 15 years ago) has a minor preference for women, used to get the class closer to 50/50 than it would get to under gender-blind admissions.

#13 Comment By hwc On April 19, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

BTW, here is a College Board graph showing the male/female full-time college enrollment trends. The trendlines crossed from male majority to female majority in about 1986 and have been diverging ever since. Females are predicted to continue to gain through at least the 2015 time frame.

See this link for many demographic charts.

#14 Comment By Kevin ’05 On April 19, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

Did you know that Williams today treats its female students just as many Southern states once treated African-Americans under Jim Crow? Williams forces its women to use separate bathrooms from the men, just like blacks used to have to use separate bathrooms from whites. Surely one would have hoped that those dark days were long gone, and no one would discriminate against another group the way Southern institutions used to discriminate against blacks.

The point of the above is that the argument that quotas on international students are wrong because there were once quotas on Jewish students is silly. It is an exercise in rhetoric, nothing more. We rightly reject Jim Crow, because we believe that there is no difference between blacks and whites and that they therefore should have the same access to the same facilities. We are not upset about segregating bathrooms for men and women because we know that men and women are different in ways that make it valid for them to have different bathrooms. The fact that there is similar discrimination in both cases is not what is important. What is important is whether there is a valid reason for discrimination.

We now reject the discrimination against Jewish students, because we do not believe that religion should be a factor in your access to services or your ability to attend colleges. There is therefore no valid reason for discrimination there. In terms of international students, however, there may very well be valid reasons for discrimination. Nationality still matters in ways that race or religion no longer do. Williams College is an American College that has prospered because America has many, many special laws to support its institutions of higher learning. These laws are predicated upon the fact that these institutions are valuable to America, principally in educating Americans. Should they start educating people from other nations to a higher degree than Americans, those laws will change. As much as it would be nice to be cosmopolitan and ignore all national ties, without those ties Williams would not exist at all, and it therefore owes them some consideration.

Williams started out to educate the country boys of Western Mass. It soon exapanded its focus to educating the youth of America. Perhaps some day its focus will become the world. However, we should not pretend that Williams exists in some sort of special educational wonderland where it has no responsibilities to the community around it. Williams has succeeded because of protection and support of the United States of America. Should it decide to move beyond such provincialism it should expect to lose such support. Perhaps that is a good idea. Perhaps what we gain from more international students will more than compensate from the support we will lose from the community around us. It certainly is worth talking about. However, it does not help us in this discussion to play word games and make obfuscating juxtapositions. We can debate the merits of more international students on their own rights, we don’t need to load the debate with tenuous connections to the past.

#15 Comment By Anonymous On April 19, 2006 @ 2:44 pm

I agree with David. One of the main reasons for the gap is that a lot of “borderline college” male applicants opt for the (male dominated) blue-collar jobs or army instead of the college. “Borderline college” women applicants do not have that option.
Thus, although the graphs are telling for the population as a whole, they do not say anything about the future of Williams. (and, of course, there is also the infamous Summers standard deviation argument to support the claim)

#16 Comment By hwc On April 19, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

David:

It’s just a numbers game — exactly like affirmative action. If you have more female applicants than male, then you have to give a preference (measured by acceptance rates) to male applicants to end up at a 50%/50% distribution.

The numbers are pretty clear — varying only marginally depending on the school. For fall 2004, the percentage of females in the applicant pool at some selected schools were:

Williams 52%
Amherst 54%
Yale 53%
Columbia 54%

Harvard and Dartmouth remained tilted slightly male.

#17 Comment By David On April 19, 2006 @ 3:20 pm

Again, applicant percentages tell some of the story, but a school that is 52/48 is indistinguishable (to any student or faculty member) to one that is 50/50. In fact, if women are, for example, more likely to spend time abroad, the actual percentage on campus at any point in time might be 50/50.

And, again, the Summers point holds. Even if the applicant pool were 60/40 female, we need to know the distribution of SAT scores, academic ranks and the like between men and women in order to know whether Williams has (or needs to have) different standards. Men have a higher standard deviation and are therefore more likely to be in the tails of the distribution. See here for related (but non-PC) reading.

Male/female applicants with identical academic records and extracurriculars have similar probabilities of admission. This is not true for tip/non-tip, legacy/non-legacy, URM/non-URM.

The data (pdf, see page 9) show that men have much higher standard deviation than women for the SAT. For example, there are twice as many men as women (22,875 versus 10,954) who score above 750 on the Math SAT.

As long as Williams admissions are driven by academic rank and academic rank includes test scores as an important factor, Williams will never need to give men an advantage over women in admissions.

#18 Comment By Mike E ’04 On April 19, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

“Williams started out to educate the country boys of Western Mass. It soon exapanded its focus to educating the youth of America. Perhaps some day its focus will become the world. However, we should not pretend that Williams exists in some sort of special educational wonderland where it has no responsibilities to the community around it.”

To Kevin ’05 and others who might make these arguements,

Quick question: can you really argue that Williams does not have a ‘focus around the world’? Why do you think Williams appeals to internationals (both in terms of attracting students, and in terms of making special admissions trips to tout the college)? Why do you think the faculty recently voted to create the International Studies concentration? Why do we have something called “Williams in Africa?” (Well, South Africa at least.) Why did the college recently hire its first professor of Arabic? There is strong evidence that the internationally-oriented faculty, students and course work are part of “the community around” Williams College.

While the administration might try to make arguements about the college’s primary focus being on US nationals, the college’s vested interest in international people cannot be denied.

Most important of all is that fact that so many Ephs past and present are internationals. Look at our current student body and your fellow classmates. An international Eph is an Eph. Listening to K. Chen ’04 (2004 valedictorian) speak of what a Williams education and the Williams community meant to him made me extremely proud to be his classmate. His Chinese background makes the relationship all the more interesting. He is but one shining example among a multitude.

#19 Comment By ’05 On April 19, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

Williams receives money and nonprofit status from the United States of America. No other nation supports Williams in this way. Why would we have an obligation to educate citizens from other nations?

#20 Comment By Richard Dunn On April 19, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

Williams appeals to students from around the world because graduating from Williams guarantees a fat paycheck and lots of prestige.
The liberal arts tradition does not exist anywhere but the United States and I believe it requires a substantial percentage of Americans at the institution to maintain itself. The norms of the college could change markedly if you replaced individuals who have an appreciation of the liberal arts education with those who believe school is merely a place to signal your diligence and become certified.

#21 Comment By David On April 19, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

Welcome back to Kevin Koernig! EphBlog misses your input.

As to Kevin’s analogy, my point is an historical one. I am making the claim that the exact phrasing (with substitutions of “Christians” for “Americans” and “Jews” for “international students”) was used 75 years ago with Jew-quotas as are used today (even on this thread). Anyone who reads Karabel would agree.

Now, from this it does not necessarily follow that the admissions officers of the 1920s were benighted (although that is how many would see them today). In fact, their actions, given the context of the time, seem downright reasonable.

The problem with Kevin’s analogy is that, although we all agree on the perniciousness of racial discrimination in bathroom usage, few are against such practices with regard to gender today. Is Kevin? And does he think that female only bathrooms are going to disappear anytime soon? I doubt it.

I, on the other hand, think that significant discrimination against international applicants will decrease and eventually disappear and that it should. Kevin writes:

The point of the above is that the argument that quotas on international students are wrong because there were once quotas on Jewish students is silly.

Fine. That is not the (exact) point that I am making. I making the historical claim that the exact same words are/were used in the two cases. I am also wondering why people think that Jew-quotas are clearly wrong while international-quotas are clearly OK.

Kevin rightly addresses himself to this point by emphasizing the reasons for international-quotas. (Richard and ’05 do the same.) These reasons, like the reasons given 75 years ago, are not on-their-face crazy, but I think that, empirically, they are on weak ground.

But, for the moment, I would like to turn the tables and grant everything that Kevin, Richard, Bill et al have to say — about the wonder of America, the beauty of 503 status, the magic of the liberal arts. I grant it all.

My question then becomes why 6%? Why is that the magic number? Also, why 6% when Harvard/Yale and other elite schools are closer to 10%?

Now, if there weren’t enough highly qualified international applicants, I would not be pushing this point. I do not like minimum quotas. But the best 30 rejected international applicants are much more impressive than the bottom half of the Williams pool. Why not let them in and go to 12%?

At the very least, surely all of us can be in favor of a committee, in favor of the gathering and publishing of data. If the next 30 international applicants are not that impressive, then maybe 6% is an OK target. But there must be some level of accomplishment (all perfect test scores, 10 AP exams, valedictorian in elite school) among the rejected 30 that would make others rethink the current level.

#22 Comment By Ronit On April 19, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

Mr. Dunn: there is no need to be so condescending. If I just wanted a fat paycheck upon graduation, there are plenty of other schools in the US I could have applied to (MIT, Caltech, UPenn, etc.)…and international students are more likely to be accepted at those schools anyway. Instead, I chose to apply Early Decision to Williams. I would also point out that I am majoring in philosophy, and not in some field like computer science.

You assumptions about the motivations behind international students are false and demeaning. I am here and doing what I do largely because the liberal arts tradition is important to me.

#23 Comment By Richard Dunn On April 19, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

My assumptions about your motivation may be wrong, but no, I stand by my point.
Prestigious European universities have used the international student gravy train (Asia, Middle East in particular) for decades to subsidize the education of European students (in Europe, higher education is almost entirely tuition funded).
The concept of alumni support is absent because it is merely a business relationship. The concept of academic honesty is absent. The idea of a community of learners is absent.
The educational ethos in the United States is simply different from the ethos in other parts of the world. Try and explain the concept of a take-home exam or a self-scheduled final even to a Canadian and they will look at you funny. We have something very special and it is delicately passed class to class. At what point that transmission erodes, I don’t know.

#24 Comment By David On April 19, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

The claim that Jews were more likely to cheat was made 75 years ago.

But the good thing about Richard’s assumption is that it is an empirical claim! How many international students violate the honor code? How many are active participants in the “community of learners” (measured, perhaps, by doing theses or taking tutorials or by professor surveys)? The fact that Richard’s claims about Europe are correct (I think they are) is interesting but not directly relevant to the actual experience of Williams over the last 5 years or so.

Professors often make the claim that international students are, on average, much more likely to live up to the ideal described by Richard than US students. How many international students have had to withdraw for academic reasons? How many are Phi Beta Kappa? (Wait, we know that one.)

Form a committee. Gather the data, Have a discussion.

#25 Comment By Richard Dunn On April 19, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

Yes, I recognize the claim about Jews could have been made (I personally don’t know if it was). But, based on my experience, cheating is higher amongst international students than American students. My reference group is from 3 years at a large, research university, so that may affect my results. Or maybe it is harder to cheat in a second language and so the probability of being caught is higher. But as a small-sample empirical claim, I will make it, as unpopular as it may be.

But, I agree with David, it is empirical. I think the sample at Williams is probably too small to be valuable and wouldn’t answer the right question because my claim is that the small number of international students allows the communal mores to be passed. What is needed is a comparison across institutions, but that obviously invites selection bias. Do international students essentially sort randomly between different LAC’s. If so, then the comparison may be worthwhile.
I also find the PBK criteria to be worthless. The question isn’t whether international students are smart. There are obviously enough of those to fill Williams, just as there are enough white, male, non-athletes, non-legacies to fill Williams.

I also think that the question will depend upon where international students come from.

#26 Comment By Loweeel On April 19, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

Anon @ 2:44 — the very same point I made in my Gender Disparities and Incentive Effects in Higher Education post!

#27 Comment By rory On April 19, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

My, that’s a mighty high horse you’re on David. I hope you don’t fall:)

Richard is right, there are enough of tons of different types of people that could fill Williams and do a marvelous job. (I always return to the dean of Harvard’s admissions past who said to the NY Times something to the effect of: we could easily reject everyone we take and accept an entirely different cohort have just as smart and successful cohort. I have little doubt that Williams could do the same, or close to the same).

The question, then, becomes somewhat divorced from merit, but to the more abstract question of what should the Williams student body look like. I believe, sans evidence, that a college requires some sort of common academic/cultural preparation by its students before they enter. Not by all students, but by a large majority so as to have a cohesive curriculum and social scene. I believe Williams in particular needs that.

It is a very broad concept of “academic/cultural preparation” I am using, I should mention. I want the bulk of students to have a sense of what an “american high school” is like so that they can understand the difference in the type of thinking and work asked in college (or, lack thereof if that be the case). Obviously, this is mostly an explanation, however sketchy and full of holes it might be, of keeping about, say, 70-75% of Williams American. Plus, I believe all institutions of higher education have a role in redressing racism and prejudice, so that’s another large chunk of my ideal Williams student body that would be american students of color. Actually, if it were in ration form, why not go 3 domestic students of color to 3 white students to 2 international students. i wouldn’t be opposed to that (ahh! sounds like i like quotas…i don’t, but i’m just hypothesizing here. no, not hypothesizing; rambling)

I think, though, that the real truth is that Williams with 10% international would have to do one of two things: no longer be need blind international (which it doesn’t want to backtrack on), or commit many more resources (as international student aid has to come from Williams and Williams alone, unlike federal and state aid domestic students can get) to it. So the question becomes, is the next priority in Williams’ financials to expand its resources for international students or something else? And in this case, I’m willing to accept the idea that Williams has other things to spend its money on (down with Sawyer library! Long live Stetson library!)

Now, I find there to be hints of xenophobia in some of these (so what if Williams is an American college? And my Panasonic is a Japanese TV. and my brother laser printer is french. woohoo. national boundaries are weak and porous and i’d argue should continue to be so) responses about Williams being “American” and thus “for Americans” mainly. I do think a school needs a coherent pipeline of students to create a very bland basic mutual understanding of its enterprise, but I could honestly be convinced otherwise. I write this paragraph to explain why I find financial reasoning and insitutional priorities to be reasonable for creating an international “quota”, but not acceptable for other quotas. Simply put, “international” is not a persecuted or formerly persecuted group. “International people” are not hated like Jews were 75 years ago. They are not discriminated by their race because they are “international”, but because of their race. They do not hold the same place in society’s hierarchy as the other groups David compares them to. (please note: I do understand that many international applicants do face discrimination here and at home. But that’s separate from my point, and I’ve got too much research I should be doing to parse that nuance right now)

On a separate note (does this get a spin-off post from David?), when I went to the record’s webpage, I noticed the editorial. And, well, aside from the fact that their ideas are at least 8 years old (sorry people), anyone else struck by the three ideas being:
-do something to integrate minorities into predominantly white pre-orientation programs
-do something to integrate minorities into predominantly white prefrosh weekends
-do something to get minority cultural events to be more welcoming to white students.

*sigh*, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

#28 Comment By Alexander Woo On April 19, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

David,

It is rather innocuous here, among people who know how to read. But comparing quotas on international students to quotas on Jews is an abuse of rhetoric, intentional or not.

#29 Comment By Bill ’04 On April 19, 2006 @ 11:23 pm

Rory is just making my case for me. He doesn’t care about porous borders and with it, i surmise from his comments, a sense of national identity. This is going to be the elite minority opinion in this country and not supported by the majority of people at all. Call having an interest in the success of the US xenophobic if you want, although i think that is cop out name calling. Free trade is great but security is based on the nation state. Getting cheap dvd’s from China is a far cry from letting China protect us. Maybe you would like to have the UN or Europe’s tremendous military might protecting you from the Iranian nuclear threat or terrorist attack but I would rather have American military might protecting me, and as much as most of these posters dispise the President and the administration, they still protect the purple bubble. In so much Williams’ future is tied to America’s.

I do enjoy the good debate though. Now if only we could get the media to talk about these substantial issues instead of the unending Aruba story.

I am going to stay away from Rory’s URM comments as they should be dealt with else where.

#30 Comment By Ronit On April 20, 2006 @ 12:31 am

So…opening up opportunities for international applicants to Williams means turning over national sovereignty to China? Alrighty then.

#31 Comment By Anonymous On April 20, 2006 @ 1:04 am

They are taking our jobs! They are taking out security!! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#32 Comment By Mike E 04′ On April 20, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

Again, as I wrote above, I am unconvinced by every reason I hear for keeping Williams at some specific and low percentage of international students. Comments such as those from Richard and Bill ’04 are full of fearful and callous assumptions about an ‘us’ vs. a ‘them.’ These attitudes show more why Williams might find it hard to maintain a sterling international reputation on a par with Harvard or Stanford. The only reason I can think of, which has not been invoked, is that Williams — at, say, 30% international — would be too much like The Florida Institute of Technology. Or something.

“Getting cheap dvd’s from China is a far cry from letting China protect us. Maybe you would like to have the UN or Europe’s tremendous military might protecting you from the Iranian nuclear threat or terrorist attack but I would rather have American military might protecting me”
– What does this have to do with the fact that Williams students might include more international students? Draw the specific connection between international students on our campus and “cheap dvd’s from China.”

“based on my experience, cheating is higher amongst international students than American students. My reference group is from 3 years at a large, research university, so that may affect my results. Or maybe it is harder to cheat in a second language and so the probability of being caught is higher. But as a small-sample empirical claim, I will make it, as unpopular as it may be.”
– Um, draw the line between WIlliams international students and a pool of international students at “a large, research university.” I take it that all international students are the same. (??)

“my claim is that the small number of international students allows the communal mores to be passed.”
-…Because international students don’t share any of those mores? Or what? I am not buying the claim that the ideals of Williams are so esoteric thatonly American nationals can understand how to continue them. That was my whole point of pointing out K. Chen ’04. He saw the point and benefit of a liberal arts education at Williams better than almost anyone, AND he was an international.

“The liberal arts tradition does not exist anywhere but the United States”
— Is a liberally broad search for truth among a multitude of disciplines really that isolated a tradition? Wow. Who knew. (Great that the search for truth happens to center on our great nation — we keep it such a secret too…) What is isolated is the economic prerogative to invest in the infrastructure and faculty to teach in a wide-based tradition, beyond pre-professional discinplines. The fact that many countries and societies are too poor to achieve this does not mean that human beings everywhere do not have an understanding of what thinking in a liberal arts tradition can mean. At issue in the debate over international students at Williams is not the competition of societies. It is the recognition of highly motivated individuals across national borders. You will have more in common with your fellow Eph who happens to be international than with most Americans.

The idea that a liberal arts tradition can be used merely as an economic tool is equally applicable to American students. For Williams, in fact, I be this idea applies more to Americans than international students — I bet more Americans approach Williams with this attitude than international students. WHO has heard of Williams internationally? How can a William BA vault you to fame, prestige and economic success internationally? I have yet to see a pattern. Ask the admissions folk, maybe they can tell you how Williams has a tiny name. THEN argue that Williams will become the next LSE with more equitable admission of international students.

#33 Comment By Bill On April 20, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

you’ve purposefully read into an adjective far more than is there. Porous borders does not mean a loss of national identity (in fact, immigrants are often the most proud of their new nation because of the opportunity they feel they get there), and your insinuations are the insinuations of xenophobia I touched on ever so briefly, and, in fact, in a parenthetical statement that also talked about where my printer and tv are from!

A porous border does not mean no border, it means that national identity and community are not built on the walls of a militarized border and limiting immigration, but on having a coherent social and political identity that can incorporate outsiders into it. France’s recent problems with immigrants is because, in large part, its national social and political identity does not allow for the same flexibility with immigration as the US’s national myths do. Immigration, and especially intellectual immigration, does not threaten US identity or coherency, and those (like Bill) who claim otherwise are misrepresenting the US’s past, its present, and its future in an isolationist xenophobia that smacks of bias and fear.

One can argue illegal immigration hurts low-skill workers and is exploitative and degrades aspects of law enforcement and security and I’ll buy that (to an extent), but I do not fear for the nation’s identity because of its borders, it is only strengthened with immigration. I do not fear for security because Mexican farm labor comes through the borders (how many of the 9/11 or earlier terrorists attacks came through that border???). I fear for our security for many other reasons. Having 10-15% of Williams be foreign does not invoke such fear. Please, that’s just an impossible jump of logic and you should know it.

#34 Comment By Mike E ’04 On April 20, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

Bill, what does this have to do with the fact that Williams students might include more international students? Draw the specific connection between international students on our campus and what you are talking about. (As far as I can tell, international students don’t necessarily equal immigrants…)

#35 Comment By rory On April 20, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

the one from “bill” is from me. stupid clicking on the wrong thing when typing…

that last piece was in response to bill 04’s accusation that i do not care about national identity. hopefully that clears it up.

#36 Comment By Bill ’04 On April 20, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

Ok, this is my last post on this thread, i’ve spent too much time on it already, with finals coming soon. This has gotten away from international students and into politics and immigration which is not where I want to go nor what I was talking about. Throwing around the words bias and xenophobia bring up demons of racism and religious intolerance that have no part in this and clearly no part in my views.

My whole point is that as an American educational institute Williams has a duty to support its community and an interest in, educating Americans, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or immigrant past, not withstanding. I don’t know the exact correct mix of international students, but I am not in favor of taking away 30 spots to give to non-US citizens simply because Harvard and Yale are doing it.

#37 Comment By Richard Dunn On April 20, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

Unpopular as it may be, I am drawing from my experience at both a large research university and a small research institituion abroad.
If you want to argue that Williams internationals are different than others, fine, but I don’t buy it in general. And you can’t use Kai as a counterexample. Did he enter that way is the important question. If he changed, then my point may in fact be proven.
My colleagues, very intelligent individuals who could get into Williams undergrad since they have gotten into amazing graduate schools are shocked by the system I describe at Williams. It is a foreign concept to them. The notion of an honor code is unknown, or at least practically ignored, in Europe, South America and Asia.
If you are different, fine, I am not debating that. But your claim of xenophobia is incredible since I interact with so many more international students as a grad student than you do as an undergrad at lily white Williams. Fundamentally, my dataset of talented international students 10 to 20 times larger than yours.
And if there is a quota, those talented non-accepted must be landing somewhere in the US, oh, I don’t know, large research universities looking to plug budget gaps.
Williams wants more internationals, fine, but do a damn good job going into schools abroad and explaining first what Williams is and what we expect. There is a lot more work to be done before opening admissions more.
And there is not a single liberal arts college outside of the United States, so yes, we have a unique perspective on the LA education.

#38 Comment By Anonymous On April 20, 2006 @ 7:25 pm

“And if there is a quota, those talented non-accepted must be landing somewhere in the US, oh, I don’t know, large research universities looking to plug budget gaps.”

This statement shows your fundamental misunderstanding of the type of people who are applying to William from aborad.

#39 Comment By Ananda Burra ’07 On April 20, 2006 @ 9:41 pm

wow

I wasnt planning to get involved in this discussion (a little too close to heart) but Richard Dunn is REALLY pushing the line. So internationals cheat more at Williams. They also dont understand the liberal arts environment as well as american students.

All right. let me tell you this. The mean GPA for international students is about .2 higher than the mean GPA for Williams students at large. I state this because I (as an international) have often felt intimidated by it and felt as if i was not a good enough international.

Before you make claims about the honesty and integrity of a group of students at Williams, I would strongly suggest you talk to a range of professors at Williams about what they think. across the board, Williams professors love having internationals in their classes because (by and large) internationals do a hell of a lot of work, are really really invested in being here (cos you know, its really not as easy as you think to travel several thousands miles to go to college) and bring a unique perspective to the classroom. the internationals I know at Williams dont NEED to cheat because they are already (by and large) amongst the best students in their classes (again, I bring this up because of my own insecurity as a below average international).

Now, to deal with the point about internationals not understanding a liberal arts degree. Mr. Dunn, I challenge you to go to a single country outside the US and find any significant number of employers who have heard of williams. I would hazard a guess that 90% of high school advisors have never heard of it (mine hadnt). Then, envision someone who is in the process of paying far more than his/her family can possibly afford, is exceptionally smart and is looking for a good school in the US. How many of those students will choose Williams? almost none. the ones who are willing to move from their home countries to a time flea-speck town in the middle of freakishly cold berkshire county are not the ones who dont know what they want. believe me.

finally I think a list of some internationals at Williams right now is in order.

Both presidents of college council are internationals (one went to school in the US)

One international is a star on the track team

there are a couple of internationals who are extremely good on the crew team

I know internationals who taught themselves the guitar freshman year

I know internationals who organize international conferences in new york

I know internationals who are extremely invested in community service

I know internationals who have run or held leadership positions in a vast number of student organizations at Williams

So Mr. Dunn – please. dont start talking about things you have no idea about. If internationals at Williams college dont know what a liberal arts degree is all about – no one does – not even you.

#40 Comment By David On April 20, 2006 @ 10:00 pm

With regard to cheating, it is interesting to read Karabel p. 97. A committee was set up at Harvard to confirm President Lowell’s (almost certainly false) belief that Jews were of lower moral character. It reported

In morals, he [the Jew] seems to be more prone to dishonesty and sexual offences, but much less addicted to intemperance.

Didn’t the Alcohol Report show that international students drank less?

Just asking!

In seriousness, we need to gather the data and have a conversation. I have little doubt that Ananda is correct about Williams internationals and that Richard is correct about some of the things that go on at larger schools.

#41 Comment By Sam On April 20, 2006 @ 10:05 pm

Let me second Ananda’s post. From my experience, direct experiece of teaching at Williams for 17 years, it cannot be said that international students cheat more or are less well prepared or do not appreciate a liberal arts education. When I think of some of the very best students I have had over the years, there are many international students among them, from Bulgaria, China, Russia, Vietnam, all over. Let’s lay off the baseless generalizations that do nothing to address the original question raised but everything to stereotype and exclude.

#42 Comment By Richard Dunn On April 21, 2006 @ 12:47 am

Prof Crane and Ananda,
I am making a claim based on my experience. So, my claims are not baseless. That needs to be set from the start.
I am not basing on stereotypes. I grade exams and homeworks. If anything, I would say I have a more accurate description of international students than any international student at Williams because, frankly, I don’t care where you are from as long as you can describe the model you have seen.
I see what crosses my desk and deal with a Dean’s office. Do not, for one minute, believe that I have a predisposed bias. I see data and am continually willing to update. The data I see, from my time as a graduate student at LSE and UW-Madison points in a certain direction. You may disagree whether this applies to Williams, but do not accuse me of a bias. I interpret what I see from where I am.
Now, from there, Prof. Crane wants to say, his experiences are very different from my mine. That is important. That doesn’t diminish my experiences, but does say that mine may not be applicable to the Williams context. And given his far longer tenure at Williams, that is to be given a particular weight. But does not mean my experiences never occurred or were witnessed through some distorted nationalist lense.

I fear that we are too willing to invalidate the experiences of others when they do not conform to the experience we would like. “Your experience shows a group in a negative light and so the problem is you, not the individuals you observe.” That is the invitation to terrible science. And as much as my claims are empirical, so are everyone else’s on this posting. I will not back down from my claims at what is thought, believed and acted upon at the instituions at which I have been resident. If others, more experienced at Williams (ie Prof Crane) want to say, “your observations at LSE and Wisconsin are not valid here,” then I am more than willing to listen.

But do not insult me with, “you are generalizing or xenophobic.” Prof Crane has 17 years experience at Williams, and that should be weighed against my now 4 years at LSE and Wisconsin.

But, I have honest concerns. I recall taking a take-home final where the 2 American liberal arts students sat 4 feet away and completed an exam without collaboration while 8 international students worked together. That bothered us. From our time at Williams and Centre, we just knew such behavior was repugnant. How could such an egrigious act take place, and the answer was obvious: it was accepted as professorial stupidity by internationals rather than an assumption of student honor by the LAC grads. These were smart students, as smart as you’d find at Williams. What set the liberal arts grads apart from the others. I sincerely care about that.

My experiences simply do not paint the same picture as the one presented by Ananda and Prof. Crane. Much of this comes from post-Williams. I believe the atmosphere of Williams (replace with many liberal arts colleges) encourages a particular type of academic rigor and honesty. I am also concerned that the education systems that exist in other countries do not coincide with that standard. The possible result is that a large proportion of international students alters that dynamic.

I am arguing a cultural aspect which seems a popular stand when it excuses certain types of behavior but is rejected when it affirms behavior our liberal superegos don’t wish to accept.

I unequivacably agree with David, this is empirical, so do not reject my datapoints because you don’t like where they lay.

#43 Comment By Richard Dunn On April 21, 2006 @ 12:56 am

And another thing:

Can we please stop this “Mr. Dunn” stuff. You aren’t that much younger, my name is Richard, feel free to use it. Or “Dick” if you feel it’s more appropriate.

#44 Comment By Richard Dunn On April 21, 2006 @ 1:19 am

Actually, I will keep going since so many postings were directed at me:

1) I hate using other people’s quotes against them, but
“So Mr. Dunn – please. dont start talking about things you have no idea about. If internationals at Williams college dont know what a liberal arts degree is all about – no one does – not even you.”

This is nonsense. Plain nonsense. I made an empirical claim about my experiences and invited a counter-example about Williams.

Do you think I slept through 4 years at Williams? Did I just ignore the international students at our college while I was there? This is just ridiculous. My claim is that Williams has a transformative effect on those who arrive. That effect depends upon the people who are there. That effect would be dimished with a sudden increase in international students.

Transplant the very smart and accomplished people from Humbolt or Kings or Tilberg or Seoul National or Tokyo and you would see a very different campus atmosphere at Williams. I don’t see how anyone can simultaneously claim both that cultures differ in significant ways and an influx of individuals from a different culture would not alter Williams.

Yes, you see accomplished international students who conform to every ideal of a Williams student. Doesn’t that in some way reflect the culture of Williams before they arrived? And isn’t that culture affected by those already present?

Is that what you are arguing against, because I just can’t make that leap. Why is the increased prevelance of cheating abroad such an insult to everyone here. In India, they cancelled a whole set of GRE scores. Students from abroad arrive at grad school with pirated copies of answer keys. Why not use this information? Why do you push against it so blindly, like it isn’t true?

Yes, internationals have a .2 GPA higher than non-internationals. Now remove athletic tips and minority acceptances and I guarantee it goes away. You have close to 300 million people in the United States. We are large, very large. You could fill Williams with students from Long Island if you wanted to, without much of a problem. The point is not GPA. There are too many potentially good GPA’s out there. There are plenty of white, rich, suburban athletes and student leaders and so on and so forth.

None of this addresses the real question: would an increase in international students affect the ethos at Williams. And again, even Prof. Crane seems to be missing my argument. The question isn’t whether internationals excel, its whether they would have adopted the same attitude in the presence of classmates who were 30-40% from nations other than the US with substantially different education systems. Instead of attacking my empirical claims, lets address that question.

#45 Comment By frank uible On April 21, 2006 @ 7:43 am

Youse guys should take paregoric for your verborhea!

#46 Comment By Anonymous On April 21, 2006 @ 11:23 am

“We are large, very large.”

And Mr. Dick just made a phallic joke, thus discrediting himself completely. Well done.

#47 Comment By Mike E ’04 On April 21, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

Nix the phallic jokes.

Richard, I take your point about how you think students change when they come to campus. But in my view, the most important modulator of the liberal arts environment, initiating that positive change, is not the students — it is the diversity and committment of the faculty, and an administration that supports that faculty. My point is that American students are just as varied in why they would come to Williams as internationals. And, my point is that (and you seem to tacitly agree with this) the student body can become ‘liberal artsy’ after 4 years as it stands now, no matter what the background of the students. We simply disagree about how the mindset of entering students contributes to the environment, and how the mindsets of entering students might differ if they are international.

#48 Comment By Alexander Woo On April 21, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

Richard,

I want to raise the possibility that the incident you describe involving the take home final was not an instance of cheating.

I understand that in the educational systems of some countries, exams are administered with very different expectations. In some countries, students are meant to work collaboratively, and exams are written with this in mind. In some other countries, students are given the exam questions or questions very similar to exam questions and expected to discuss them ahead of the exam.

I have had take home exams (from professors educated in the Soviet Union) where “don’t work with each other” was definitely said with a wink and a nod. Just as, at Williams, “this paper is due on the last day of class” was frequently followed by “I leave town on the 15th, and need to read your paper and submit your grade before then.”

The professor’s intentions for how the exam was to be taken, and the clarity with which she or he expressed these intentions, are the crucial issue here. Of course, since you were there and I was not, you know this much better than I do.

#49 Comment By Jonathan Landsman On April 21, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

I find Richard’s arguments persuasive, which is not to say that my mind is set by them, but that I accept what he offers as a data point. Mike E, I cannot agree with you about the faculty and admin being the modulators of the LA environment.

I believe that the departmental structure of all college faculties could create a dangerously non-LA environment if not moderated by good administrative policies and students’ dedication to seeking a life outside of the classroom (sometimes too strongly). Now, I believe that most Williams profs believe in the Williams mission strongly, but I’ve met my share who are more just extremely good at what they do — excellent members of their department, great contributors to their field, but definitely existing apart from the world of the campus and unaware of what goes on there. I have loved most of the faculty, but would not trust them as a whole to carry on the culture. I would not even trust a voting majority to keep Mountain Day.

As for the administration? Certainly dedicated to the mission. Wise stewards of our college, ideally. But what drives the policies they choose — study abroad, honor code, time-off polices, etc.? Well, in part their personal convictions, but I’d attribute the bulk to market force: that is, the force of a market of intelligent high school seniors applying to LA colleges, and looking for certain things. The amount of copycatting in policies among the SLACs seems, to me, to belie that a market drives the policy, and that market depends on the incoming American student. This is a point that I believe Richard would embrace.

This whole thread is new thinking for me, and I am not prepared in my mind to go as far either way as each side is pushing. But if we see that a unique educational tradition exists in America — and I leave it to others to decide if this is true — it seems reasonable to expect that something American created and sustains it. Was it just our wealth? I’m not inclined to say so: I am told that post-secondary education looks quite different in England. Was it just our history? Perhaps, but then who passed down that history?

Like Mike, I can now see better where Richard is coming from, and unlike Mike I believe that students, and perhaps pre-college educators, are the stronger moderators of the LA education. To try to summarize the side advanced by Richard very simplistically, admitting more internationals “dilutes” the fuel, and might weaken the machine.

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