The May 14 Chronicle of Higher Education ran a story by Robin Wilson
titled “Ph.D. Programs Face a Paucity of Americans.” Wilson says that if
you visited just about any physics laboratory at U.S. research
universities, you’d find as many foreigners as Americans.
The American Institute of Physics estimates that this year, for the
first time, the majority of first-year doctoral students in physics at
our universities is foreign. In the academic year 1997 to 1998, China
alone supplied 20 percent of all international physics students. At Penn
State University, as is typical at other universities, half the students
in its graduate physics program are foreigners.
In 1997, foreign students earned 37 percent of all science and
engineering doctorates at American universities. By contrast, at most
American universities, there are few to no foreigners getting Ph.D.s in
education, cultural studies and history. The evidence clearly
demonstrates that the more intellectually challenging a field of study
is, the fewer American students.
How do university administrators cope with the multitudes of highly
prepared foreign students, particularly Asians? They set admittance
quotas against them and create double standards. For example, the
University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s policy is not to exceed 20
percent foreign students in any of its graduate programs. Like other
universities, it turns away applications from foreign students whose
grades and test scores are higher than their American counterparts.
Enrollment is kept up, and professors employed, by admitting mediocre
Is discrimination against Asian students, foreign-born or not,
acceptable? Probably not among those on the conservative end of the
political spectrum but among liberals, it’s an OK thing.
You say, “OK, Williams, what do you mean?” In a 1995 Sacramento Bee
interview, President Clinton pointed out that excessive reliance on
academic qualifications in the admissions process could have dire
consequences, warning “there are universities in California that could
fill their entire freshman classes with nothing but Asians.” That sounds
a bit racist to me, harkening back to the days of California’s fears of
the “Yellow Peril.”
“Williams,” you say, “that’s just one liberal; the rest are OK.” Try
this. On a 1997 “Crossfire” show, Bob Beckel — the liberal co-host of
the show — badgered guest Dr. Abigail Thernstrom as to the effects of
California’s Proposition 209 outlawing racial quotas in college
admissions. Beckel asked, “Would you like to see the UCLA law school 80
percent Asian? Because at the rate it’s going, by the year 2007 UCLA
will be 80 percent Asian. Will that make you happy?” Neither Clinton’s
nor Beckel’s comments drew fire from America’s leftists.
In terms of our future, what foreign students are doing and the
achievements they’re making is not nearly as important as what American
students are not doing. What American students are not doing represents
a triumph of the leftist education agenda over the last four decades,
where feel-good, touchy-feely has been substituted for academic
Even our brightest students aren’t challenged, as evidenced by the
fact that far fewer high school students score 1400 to 1600 on the SAT
today than during the 1960s. Today’s educational emphasis is on sex
indoctrination in the name of sex education, environmentalism and
solving society’s problems. Even at colleges, students can learn
nonsense like standard English is “essentially an instrument of
domination.” They can take courses for academic credit like “Queer
Theory” and the works of PeeWee Herman.
While American students trail their counterparts in other
industrialized countries in just about every academic area, they have
the highest levels of self-esteem and feel good about their educational
achievements. That’s sad. They’re fools and don’t know it.