Universities across the pond are using foreign students as "cash cows" to plug budget gaps, claims Susan Bassnett, a former pro-vice chancellor of Warwick University. Some of the students being brought recruited to United Kingdom universities are barely proficient in English, but Bassnett claims the schools are willing to turn a blind eye.
"We have all seen the way in which international students with poor qualifications have been recruited as cash cows for years now," Bassnett wrote in a Times Higher Education magazine column.
British students pay up to £9,000 a year for tuition and fees, while foreign students pay closer to £20,000, according to The Daily Mail.
Bassnett, who is currently a professor of comparative literature at the University of Warwick, isn't the only one to make this claim.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, recently said "Non-EU students are being recruited to prop up the finances of less well known universities," in a recent report on the issue.
London Metropolitan University was recently at the center of an immigration crack-down by the government which could lead to a deportation of thousands of non-European Union students studying there. The U.K. Border Agency said many foreign students did not have proper visas to be studying in the country. LMU's vice chancellor Malcolm Gillies said without those students, their school is left with a hole of £30 million, or $38 million, in the institution’s budget, the New York Times reports.
"Over the years, I have encountered cases of academics earning tidy little sums on the side by assisting students with inadequate command of English to produce essays, and I have been asked to 'disregard linguistic competence and focus on content' in some places," Bassnett said. "On one occasion, I was present at a meeting where someone (mercifully not an academic) pointed out that it had started to become uneconomic to take home students, so why not simply recruit the high-fee-paying foreign ones?"
British universities have seen funding cuts as high as 40 percent in recent years, during an era of austerity. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported in 2010 that Britain's predominantly public higher-education system "is heavily dependent on government support." For most institutions, government money is the largest portion of their revenue.
It used to be that way in the U.S. as well, but there has been a steady and significant toward public universities relying on tuition more than any government appropriations.
The practice of using international and out-of-state students for budgetary reasons is happening domestically as a result of states scaling back funding to state universities.
Foreign students are especially being recruited for graduate programs in the U.S. These students mainly hail from China or the Middle East. The Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs estimates there are currently 32 percent more foreign students studying in the U.S. than there was a decade ago.
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University Of Virginia - 29 Percent
<em>EDITOR'S NOTE: Information in the slideshow on percentage of out-of-state students enrolled comes <a href="https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/university-of-virginia?searchType=bf_site&q=&bf_cat=bf_" target="_blank">via The College Board</a>, and are based on the school system's flagship campus as of 2011-12, unless otherwise noted.</em>
University Of Illinois - 33 Percent
The Daily Illini <a href="http://www.dailyillini.com/article/2012/09/uis-international-enrollment-at-record-high" target="_hplink">reports</a> about 28,000 students on the campus are Illinois residents, which is about 66 percent of the overall student body, according to the University's Division of Management Information. This year they've seen a record number of international students and out-of-state residents.
Arizona State University - 32 Percent
University Of Iowa - 49 Percent
<em>Students listen to President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa Field House, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)</em>
University Of Minnesota - 33 Percent
University Of Missouri - 30 Percent
<em>Missouri head coach Frank Haith addresses the crowd gathered at Mizzou Arena to kick off their NCAA Tournament selection party in Mizzou Arena Sunday, March 11, 2012, in Columbia, Mo.</em>
University Of Arizona - 36 Percent
Pennsylvania State University - 40 Percent
<em>Penn State football fans cheer the Penn State football team as they arrive at Beaver Stadium for their NCAA college football season opener against Ohio in State College, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)</em>
University Of Texas at Austin - 9 Percent
Information via<a href="https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-university-search/university-of-texas-at-austin" target="_hplink"> The College Board</a>
Rutgers University - 11 Percent
<em>Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., looks around at the Rutgers-Camden campus in Camden, N.J., Thursday, May 3, 2012.</em>
University Of Massachusetts - 26 Percent
Photo Credit: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sarah_L._Arnold_House.jpg" target="_hplink">Ktr101</a>
Florida State University - 11 Percent
The Ohio State University - 18 Percent
<em>Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., plays cornhole during a tailgate party at the The Ohio State University-Miami University of Ohio football game, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)</em>
University Of Florida - 4 Percent
University Of Wisconsin - 38 Percent
<em>FILE -- In a June 14, 2011 file photo University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor Carolyn "Biddy" Martin announces her resignation in Madison, Wis. After clashing with Gov. Scott Walker Martin stepped down to take the presidency at Amherst College. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, Craig Schreiner, file)</em>
Indiana State University - 12 Percent
Photo Credit: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ISU_Student_Recreation_Center.jpg" target="_hplink">Tcampbell</a>
University Of California, Berkeley - 25 Percent
<em>File - In this Dec. 14, 2011 file photo, University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau smiles during a news conference in Berkeley, Calif. The chancellor said he planned to step down as head of the world-renowned campus at year's end. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)</em>
San Diego State University - 8 Percent
<em>San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk, right, listens as university President Elliot Hirshman, left, speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)</em>
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information in the slideshow on percentage of out-of-state students enrolled comes via The College Board, and are based on the school system's flagship campus as of 2011-12, unless otherwise noted.