Today’s debate about foreign education in the United States has entered a new and more heated phase. As we move into the holiday season, the clash over the Foreign Education Act is once again in full force. This bill mandates that all students enrolled in accredited US colleges and universities be evaluated by an “experienced, highly-competent” government agency to decide whether they are “college-ready.” Currently, there is no standardized way to determine whether or not students have met this standard. Supporters of the bill argue that some degree programs may be “too tough” for students to handle, especially for students who do not attend American colleges and universities. As a result, the bill is designed to force those institutions to offer more rigorous, state-approved courses of study.
While it would certainly be nice to see the full scope of the student body coming from American education system, the reality is that most Americans will attend at least one US college. Consequently, the bill is unlikely to have much of an impact on the larger picture. If anything, the bill will likely serve as a reminder that many US institutions of higher learning do not always meet the standards required of them by the state.
Critics of the Foreign Education Act argue that the bill is too vague and redundant, that it unfairly influences how American colleges and universities operate, and that it does nothing to ensure student education. They claim that the language does not even specify what the standard should be, only that it be assessed in a clinical, non-narrow manner. Because the bill does not actually specify what the standard should be, the Student Affairs Committee cannot assess whether or not a student meets this standard, nor does it help determine whether or not the student should be granted access to the program in the first place.