Starting Fall 2022, the University of California LA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego have decided to reduce the international student intake to make more room for Californians. With a State-funded budget to counteract the revenue losses, UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego are set to reduce the international student enrolment by 7%, thus making room for approximately 4,500 Californians.
The local media, The Los Angeles Times, stated that the UC expects to enrol 6,230 additional local freshmen starting 2022. The decision was taken after witnessing a high record of application for the Fall 2021 session. However, the decision will come at a cost of 900 international students across the three campuses.
To accommodate the UC admission reforms, the public research university system must be changed to one that prioritises Californian applications. The redefined budget is expected to support the financial losses that will be incurred due to reduced international student enrolment. Nearly US$ 30,000 per month or US$ 1.3 billion per year, in losses, is expected to be covered under the new budget.
Pradeep Khosla, UC San Diego Chancellor, pointed out that the non-resident students “helped offset tuition costs for California students and provided revenue that enabled them to improve educational programmes for all students” when state funding declined. He further emphasised that non-resident students were added in addition to Californian students, not in place of them. He also added that the fees received from non-resident students, covered library collections, faculty recruitment, instructional equipment and extra courses that resulted in small-numbered classes.
Will the New Budget Cover the Revenue Lost from Low International Student Intake?
California, through the changed budget plan, will fund the admission of the additional local freshmen for the Fall 2022 session, which amounts to US$ 180 million covering the UC and Cal State Enrolment expansion. Additionally, US$154 million will be provided for the 133,000 community college students for the Fall 2021 session. The state has also allocated US$ 2 billion exclusively for student housing.
Since 2017, UC Universities have limited the international student enrolment to 18%, excluding UC San Diego, US Berkeley and UCLA. Shane White, the UCLA Academic Senate Chair, called the rule to be analysed as well as other fundamental issues regarding international student enrolment under the state university system.
Carol Christ, the Chancellor at UC Berkeley, highlighted that the current allocation does not cover the cost of instruction incurred, commenting that replacing the out-of-state students with Californians will create a budget gap. More importantly, out-of-state international students contribute significantly to the diversity of the student experience, while many also choose to stay back in California.
Presently, the UC network comprises 3 national labs, 5 medical centres and 10 campuses. Moreover, Universities in California have witnessed the highest international student intake across the US. Records state, more than 160,000 are enrolled in Californian institutions with more than 8,000 enrolled in US San Diego. Reports have revealed that 20% to 25% of the international students are appearing for online classes as a result of the pandemic, while some may not return.
While the state will soon see a decrease in international student enrolment, the desirability of the state, as depicted by the Keystone Academic Solutions’ State Student Recruitment USA 2021 report indicates, is still high, with 36% of the international students choosing California over other US states. This further indicates that the competition between the international students will soon increase as well.
With regards to resuming in-person classes, UC requires each returning student to be vaccinated with one of the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines, i.e. Pfizer, Moderna, Astra/Zeneca, Janssen and Sinopharm.
Stay tuned for further updates!