Earlier this week, UBC associate professor Peter Wylie wrote a column that repeated claims that international students displace domestic students and aren’t held to the same high admission standards as their Canadian peers. These claims are not accurate.
International and domestic students do not compete with each other when UBC reviews student applications. They are adjudicated in separate pools. Each year, UBC is funded by the provincial government to enroll an equivalent of 42,424 full-time domestic students, which is exceeded by about 4,000 extra domestic students. And, thanks to the fees paid by international students, the university can employ more faculty members and provide additional supports and services to students across both our campuses. All of this is done without any additional cost to BC taxpayers. International students bring a diversity of opinion, perspective, and circumstance, which improves the educational experience of everyone at UBC. In short, international students provide a significant net benefit for UBC, the community, and for the BC economy.
As a top ranked university, UBC is the preferred choice of many students. We cannot admit all who seek entry to a UBC program. Counter to associate professor Wylie’s suggestion, the admission average of both international and domestic students has remained comparable – within a percentage point – for the past decade. In fact this year, the average grade of the international high school students we admitted was 91.2% compared with a slightly lower 91.0% achieved by domestic students. It is clear that newly admitted UBC students, be they international or domestic, are academically strong.
Pamela Ratner, PhD, FCAHS
Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President, Enrolment and Academic Facilities