False Advertisement in the Recruitment of International Students (by Debbie Boedijono)

Studying overseas has become more common these days as opposed to years ago. Not only can international students learn how to communicate with the languages used in the destination country, but they also gain experience living independently without parents and family. The number of students from Indonesia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and many other countries who study overseas continues to increase. As an international student from Indonesia, I can see that there is a huge increase in the number of Indonesians who decide to pursue their degrees in other countries. In 2013, there were only about 4,000 Indonesians who came to the United States to study. The number has been increasing and now there are more than 6,000 Indonesian students in the United States.

An Advertisement by the Global Tree Overseas Education Consultants

Based on the interviews with fellow international students, the reason Indonesians decided to pursue their degree in the United States is because the universities in the United States are believed to have higher standards. Moreover, many of the advertising campaigns for these universities are very attractive to Indonesians as they offer scholarships and guaranteed job offers after graduation. In other words, it is significant to maintain the standard of education as more and more people depending on these universities to pursue their dreams.

Western Kentucky University, a leading American University with international reach, failed to maintain these high standards. Western Kentucky University made a deal with an international student recruiting company called Global Tree Overseas Education Consultants to fill seats. By luring international students, Global Tree gets a commission that amounts to 15% of the enrolled students' first year’s tuition, which is not a small amount of money. Now, as the university has become dependent on these international recruiters, educators fear that these international students will become victims.

Western Kentucky University neglected the standard of education with 106 of 132 students (80% of students) who were admitted scoring below the university requirement on English skills. Many people are concerned and worried that these would become worse in the following year, if this neglect continues. Years ago, the Western Kentucky University had decided to recruit international students in order to introduce global cultures to its domestic students. As time passed by, the school’s motives completely changed and now exhibit tendencies toward economic self-benefit due to cuts in state funding.

In my opinion, if this problem continues to grow, many people including international students, their families, local students, and the reputation of many universities, will be damaged. In the long run, this problem could undermine the perceived value of being educated in the United States. Moreover, by recruiting way too many international students, their local students will suffer too because they won’t get the same treatment as international students do as they pay less for tuition. But, is this the main purpose of universities? Does Western Kentucky University want to keep doing this and harm the reputation of United States universities?

About the Author:

Debbie Boedijono is a senior student at The Collins Collage of Hospitality Management in Cal Poly Pomona. She is originally from Surabaya, Indonesia, but she moved to California in 2013 and studied in Pasadena City College for two years. Even though her area of study has an emphasis in restaurant management, she is also interested in hotel management. Moreover, she plans to graduate in the Spring of 2017. Currently, she is still deciding which clubs to join and also looking for internships this following summer. After pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, she plans to gain some experience in the United States before going back to her home country.

References:

Saul, S. (2016, April 19). Recruiting Students Overseas to Fill Seats, Not to Meet Standards. Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/20/us/recruiting-students-overseas-to-fill-seats-not-to-meet-standards.html?_r=0
Witherell, S. (2015, November 16). IIE Releases Open Doors 2015 Data. Retrieved April 24, 2016, from http://www.iie.org/Who-We-Are/News-and-Events/Press-Center/Press-Releases/2015/2015-11-16-Open-Doors-Data#.VxvvcTArLDc
The picture was downloaded from www.nytimes.com


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