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California to Limit Foreign University Students

California state universities, one of the largest higher-education networks in the U.S., will limit the number of undergraduates they accept from outside the state, including foreign students, beginning later this year.

A new policy takes effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year and will limit enrollment of non-California residents to 18 percent of the student population at five University of California campuses: Santa Barbara, Davis, Santa Cruz, Riverside and Merced.

The other four campuses, in Los Angeles (UCLA), Berkeley, Irvine and San Diego, have more than 18 percent non-Californian students. They will be barred from further increasing the proportion of non-state residents in the new school year, which begins in late August on most campuses.

Qualified California students ‘losing out’

The state Board of Regents approved the new limits Thursday, following release of an auditor’s report that said California high school graduates who otherwise were qualified for university admission have been losing out to non-state residents.

A tactic the universities adopted years ago — encouraging the enrollment of out-of-state residents, who pay higher fees than Californians, to circumvent state government funding cutbacks — “has made it more difficult for California residents to gain admission,” state auditor Elaine Howle said.

The issue was hotly debated before the Board of Regents voted to enact limits on foreign and out-of-state students.

Board of Regents member Hadi Makarechian came to California from Iran in the 1960s as an international student. He warned that the 18 percent limits will prompt talented international students to look elsewhere for college.

Overall, about 3,800 foreign undergrads

“I know the in thing today is to build walls, but we are building a wall around the University of California by doing this,” Makarechian said.

The California state university system, one of the largest in the United States, has…

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