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Russian State University for the Humanities .. Competes with UW for students?

Efim Pivovar, president of the  Russian State University for the Humanities, discusses  the challenges one of Russia’s best educational establishments is facing in the process of going global.

I have wondered whether “outsourcing” might present a threat to America’s greatest asset … our core of attractive universities, places where bright people come, stay on in the US, and drive our economy. Fortune magazine addresses the same issue in a recent editorial devoted to a large decline i n foreign skilled workers applying for visas to work in the US. An excerpt:

If a nation cannot be competitive when it accounts for nearly a quarter of world output, sits on abundant natural resources, has most of the world’s best universities, and has had a stable constitutional system for some 200 years, a supposed shortage of computer scientists is the least of our worries.

I would argue for a fuller debate about high-skilled workers, one that doesn’t ignore a key constituency: immigrants’ countries of origin. It’s fine to say that the U.S. (and other rich nations) need the world’s best, but what happens to the places they leave?

The author goes on to discuss the effect of  the US brain drain on countries depleted of their best and brightest.  Fair enough, but is it it a good thing if Brazilian  students choose China over the US for their education?  The US is exceptional in many ways, but our tradition of opportunity nis far more important to our future than our dwindling share of the world’s limited natural resources.


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