One problem solving another? Trump's trade war keeping Chinese money out of woke US universities

President Trump's trade war seems to be having a maybe unintended consequence:

According to Axios, the tariffs squeezing the Chinese economy seem to be keeping the Chinese students away:

"After a decade of booming enrollment by students from China, American universities are starting to see steep declines as political tensions between the two countries cut into a major source of tuition revenue," AP reports.

Why it's happening: The U.S trade war with China and concerns about national security risks "appear to be accelerating a trend that's also driven by growing international competition, visa complications and the development of China's own higher education system," writes AP.

Chinese students, who are carefully screened by their social-credit government before coming to the U.S., paying full fare, aren't coming here in quite the numbers they came before.  That's probably keeping a lot of spies back home, though I imagine that the most important ones get through anyway on their government's dime, but overall, it might be good news for national security on that front, given that China generally uses the "grain of sand" style of espionage, with each bit player contributing a tiny bit.

More important is the tough news it portends for the U.S.'s woke universities.  For them, the party's ending.

Why do universities get woke?  Well, if you read the work of Eric Hoffer, describing the 1960s, or Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds (The New School), describing the more recent era, the story is the same: tons of money flooding in to universities from somewhere, often the federal government, but certainly other governments, too, given that the Chinese pay full fare, often government full fare.  That gives the universities money to hire all the diversity vice presidents they like, and with more money than mission, it's a Petri dish for the propagation of woke politics.

Now a spigot has been shut off.  Theoretically, they're losing that cash stream and might just need to tailor their product to providing value to their students, which is how Reynolds sees it ultimately playing out.  U.S. students are being priced out of education and saddled with tens of thousands in debt because they know that the Chinese students will pay the price, whatever it might be.  When a large number of your customers will pay anything, and the rest can be relegated to taking out unlimited student loans, universities can raise their prices to whatever they want — and they do.

Well, maybe until now.  If so, it would probably put universities back to earth and reality, abandoning woke education for sustainable education that Americans will be able to buy.  If not, they might just go the way of the Chinese students.  One problem might just solve the other.

Image credit: Global X, via FlickrCC NY-SA 2.0.

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