California approves bill to limit out-of-state student numbers

Audit of University of California system finds that institution enrolled less-qualified non-resident students to boost revenue

June 7, 2016
Students at University of California, Los Angeles
Source: iStock

The California Assembly has passed a bill restricting the number of out-of-state students the University of California system can enrol.

The bill limits the proportion of non-Californian students at the nine campuses to 10 per cent of total enrolment by autumn 2022. Out-of-state undergraduates currently make up 15.5 per cent of total undergraduates on the system’s campuses.

It also requires the university to admit only non-resident students who exceed the academic qualifications of residents.

The bill was passed after a state audit of the university system in March 2016, which concluded that it was enrolling less-qualified students from outside the state in order to boost revenue – a move that it concluded has “disadvantaged California resident students”.

According to the audit report, non-resident enrolment rocketed by 82 per cent between 2010-11 and 2013-14. It added that the university system “could have taken additional steps to generate savings and revenue internally” to mitigate the impact of its admissions and financial decisions on residents, noting that the campuses’ spending on employee salaries increased in eight of the past nine financial years, despite the state’s fiscal crisis.

The presumptive Democrat nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, backed the legislation, according to CNN.

“We have got to get back to using public colleges and university for that they were intended, she said. If it is in California, for the children in California. If it is in New York, for the children in New York.

The bill has been passed to the California State Senate for consideration.

ellie.bothwell@tesglobal.com

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