Academic blowback

Marty Peretz of the New Republic draws our attention to one of the major downsides of the vast numbers of foreign students welcomed in our universities. Encouraged by then-governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, a group of Iranians, including the future nuclear scientists who developed Iran's nuclear program, came to M.I.T.

Farah Stockman of the Boston Globe did the reporting on this story. She writes:
At least three have spent their careers building the Iranian nuclear program that Washington is now fervently trying to curtail, according to a Globe investigation that tracked down 28 of the program's 35 graduates.

One graduate -- Mansour Haj Azim , remembered by classmates as quiet and studious -- was a leader of Iran's nuclear program and, according to one widely cited report, the supervisor of a suspected weapons-related site.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of the graduates are working in the United States, some of them in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and for American defense contractors.
The Nixon Administration was strongly behind the deal to train the Iranians. Remember that the Shah of Iran was a stalwart ally of the United States at the time, and the idea of a future Jimmy Carter greasing the skids under him to throw Iran into the hands of the mullahs was inconceivable.

There is probably no way to prevent the proliferation of all sorts of scientific knowledge. Opening our leading graduate institutions to the best minds of the world keeps us strong, even though it does undoubtedly result in our intellectual storehouse being shared with rivals, economic and strategic.

The larger context which Peretz addresses is the reliance of many universities and colleges, particularly some very mediocre institutions, on large numbers of full tuition overseas students, many of whom are more interested in the visa opportunities than in the expansion of their intellectual horizons. Writing in his blog, The Spine, Peretz comments:
I know that the internationalization of our universities is high on everybody's wish list, at least with everybody who makes a living in our academic institutions. Probably, however, much of this is just a scam. "The higher learning" is not everywhere the higher learning. So, many mediocre intellects come from foreign countries to less than mediocre colleges and graduate schools, and the most one can say about these enrollments is that they are a favorable cash transaction for the U.S. You may recall those eight male students from some place in the Middle East who came to study I forget where and never showed up at the registrar's office to enroll.
The foreign students keep many colleges open, and indirectly employ many marginal professors in this country. "Higher" education, of course, is also a major component of the left in this country.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Marty Peretz of the New Republic draws our attention to one of the major downsides of the vast numbers of foreign students welcomed in our universities. Encouraged by then-governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, a group of Iranians, including the future nuclear scientists who developed Iran's nuclear program, came to M.I.T.

Farah Stockman of the Boston Globe did the reporting on this story. She writes:
At least three have spent their careers building the Iranian nuclear program that Washington is now fervently trying to curtail, according to a Globe investigation that tracked down 28 of the program's 35 graduates.

One graduate -- Mansour Haj Azim , remembered by classmates as quiet and studious -- was a leader of Iran's nuclear program and, according to one widely cited report, the supervisor of a suspected weapons-related site.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of the graduates are working in the United States, some of them in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and for American defense contractors.
The Nixon Administration was strongly behind the deal to train the Iranians. Remember that the Shah of Iran was a stalwart ally of the United States at the time, and the idea of a future Jimmy Carter greasing the skids under him to throw Iran into the hands of the mullahs was inconceivable.

There is probably no way to prevent the proliferation of all sorts of scientific knowledge. Opening our leading graduate institutions to the best minds of the world keeps us strong, even though it does undoubtedly result in our intellectual storehouse being shared with rivals, economic and strategic.

The larger context which Peretz addresses is the reliance of many universities and colleges, particularly some very mediocre institutions, on large numbers of full tuition overseas students, many of whom are more interested in the visa opportunities than in the expansion of their intellectual horizons. Writing in his blog, The Spine, Peretz comments:
I know that the internationalization of our universities is high on everybody's wish list, at least with everybody who makes a living in our academic institutions. Probably, however, much of this is just a scam. "The higher learning" is not everywhere the higher learning. So, many mediocre intellects come from foreign countries to less than mediocre colleges and graduate schools, and the most one can say about these enrollments is that they are a favorable cash transaction for the U.S. You may recall those eight male students from some place in the Middle East who came to study I forget where and never showed up at the registrar's office to enroll.
The foreign students keep many colleges open, and indirectly employ many marginal professors in this country. "Higher" education, of course, is also a major component of the left in this country.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky