International students as consumers in a knowledge based
How did that make you feel?
› Angry? At whom?
Did you trust what you heard?
Can you believe in Mr. Bilirakis?
Is this a political foothold for him?
Given the combination of political
positioning and the media’s need for
sensationalism, do you question the
veracity of the story ?
There are wandering bands of
international students in the U.S. waiting
to commit terrorist attacks.
International students should be tracked
more closely with greater institutional
This is a big problem.
As education leaders, we must look
below the surface to understand the
complexity and entirety of any issue or
The tip of the iceberg is just the
beginning of the story.
The only population more monitored and
subject to oversight in the U.S. than
international students are those in the
International students make up a very
small percentage of foreign nationals
entering the U.S.
Georg Reisch, Executive Secretary, European Free Trade Association
Raul Ricardo Alfonsin, President of Argentina
Guido Di Tella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina
Salma Khan, Divisional Chief in Bangladesh,
Sanchez de Lozada Bustamante, President of Bolivia
Jorge Quiroga Ramirez, Vice President of Bolivia
Francois-Xavier De Donnea, Mayor of Brussels
Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, UN Secretary-General
Francisco Flores, President of El Salvador
Ernst Carl Julius Albrecht, Prime Minister of Germany
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General
Adamantios Androutsopoulos, Prime Minister of Greece
Juwono Sudarsono, Minister of Defense in Indonesia
Yahya Muhaimin, Minister of National Education in Indonesia
Ehud Barak, Prime Minister in Israel
Abdullah Bin Al-Hussein, King of Jordan
Kang Young Hoon, Prime Minister of Korea
Mahathir bin Mohammed, Prime Minister of Malaysia
Vicente Fox, President of Mexico
Carlos Salinas de Gortari, President of Mexico
Herminio Blanco Mendoza, Secretary of Commerce/ Industrial Dev. In Mexico
Prince Albert of Monaco
Birendra Bir Birkram Shah Dev, King of Nepal
Antonio Lacayo Oyanguren, Minister of Presidency of Nicaragua
Benazir Bhutto, President of Pakistan
Alejandro Toledo, President of Peru
Alberto Fujimori, President of Peru
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of Philippines
Fidel Ramos, President of Philippines
Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, President of Philippines
Goh Chok Tong, Prime Minister of Singapore
Javier Solana, NATO Secretary-General
John Chang, Vice Premier of Taiwan
Lee Teng-hui, President of Taiwan
Chen Li-An, Minister of National Defense of Taiwain
Suleyman Demirel, President of Turkey
Canaan Sodindo Banana, President of Zimbabwe
They are all world leaders who have
studied in the United States!
Limiting or providing greater restrictions for
international students to study in the U.S. in the
name of homeland security ultimately impedes the
active exchange ideas, cultures and viewpoints
Many of the international students in the
U.S. are graduate students whose research
has not only provided important advances
in various disciplines but have also
generated a great deal of profit and
notoriety for U.S. companies (Hamermesh,
Since 1971, nearly 5,000,000
international students have
studied in the United States
International students contributed over 17 billion dollars to the U.S. economy in
the last academic year (Institute of International Education, 2009).
As consumers, their choices are
› Long term benefits
› Geopolitical changes
Transnational education is growing and the market reacts
appropriately to changes. For example, following the
implementation of restrictive government measures in the U.S.
› Canada saw a huge increase in students from
predominately Muslim countries at the same time that the
United States saw a precipitous decline in this same
› New Zealand saw a big increase in international students
just as Australia saw a 40% decline.
How does How does
the U.S. the U.S.
find the continue to
security on a global
While at the same time…
The concern for U.S. security is justifiable, but security
measures need to be realistic and meaningful. Mr.
Bilirakis’ new regulations would require international
students to be reported on every 30 days. The
amount of resources required on behalf of U.S.
educational institutions to accomplish this would be
extraordinary. In addition, it sends the wrong
message to the larger global community. Taking
cues from Economics and Business, policy makers
and government institutions should step outside of
their current frames of reference and view
international students as valued consumers. Access
to information, knowledge and exchange are
democratic ideas that are keys to success in the 21st
century knowledge-based economy.
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