The University of California at Berkeley, cash-strapped by a state government already overburdened by covering costs of local and county governments impoverished by Proposition 13, is looking abroad for cash.
It makes sense, of course. The increasingly wealthy elites of former Second World countries like China and Russia and the oil-enriched aristocratic an technocratic elites of the Mideast are eager to give their children appropriately elite educations.
So while Cal cuts enrolments of students from the state it was created to serve and replaces them with overseas students whose parents or states are able to pay the far higher enrolments charged non-Californians, it has taken the next step and established offshore campuses as well.
And why not? For the host country, there are the benefits of technology transfer coupled with the presitge of hosting academic names. And for cash-strapped American schools, there’s all that lovely money.
From the 3 April 2013 issue of the East Bay Express:
UC Berkeley Seeks China Gold
The university is working on a new research facility in Shanghai that promises to attract more money from foreign students who pay higher tuition.
This summer, Cal’s engineering department plans to complete a new research and teaching facility in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, one of China’s biggest research and development centers. The facility is to be predominately funded by the Chinese government, and while it initially will only offer a few courses, it could eventually grow into a degree-granting satellite campus of UC Berkeley.
A few other universities, including NYU, Harvard, and Georgetown also operate campuses overseas. However, if UC Berkeley follows through with this proposal, it will become one of only two US public universities operating a full-scale international campus. And while such a partnership would surely provide opportunities to UC Berkeley students and faculty, the biggest motivator seems to be money.
Two years earlier — when the center was in the planning stages — the New York Times reported, tellingly:
The public university, which is struggling under budget constraints imposed by the state of California, said the Shanghai center would cater to engineering graduate students and be financed over the next five years largely by the Shanghai government and companies operating here.
And the Shanghai campus isn’t the only link to Beijing, as China Daily reported two weeks ago:
West Point, Berkeley become must-stops for Chinese CEOs
UC Berkeley, Stanford University and the US Military Academy at West Point have become popular must-stops for Chinese CEOs and business executives enrolled in an overseas education program organized by China’s Shanghai Jiaotong University.
A group of 66 Chinese business executives in the program ended their 10-day tour of New York, Washington, Philadelphia and San Francisco on April 20. The tour that included meetings with key international financial institutions and government officials is part of a 12-month non-degree course at the university that also includes the UK.
On April 18, the Haas School of Business at the UC Berkeley campus hosted the Chinese executives.
“The Shanghai Jiaotong University Global CEO program provides our group of Chinese CEOs with advanced management training and face-to-face dialogue with key people in the US, which helps us understand and participate effectively in the globalized market,” said Jiang Zhaobai, chairman of Shanghai Pengxin Group, a leading Chinese conglomerate with interests in real estate, infrastructure construction.
Berkeley isn’t new at the foreign partnership game. Nor has the imperial expansion been entirely without complications, as in the case of the Graduate School of Management at Russia’s St. Petersburg University, a partnership between Cal’s Haas School of Business and the Russian school launched in 1993.
UC Berkeley plutocratic professor David J. Teece , who directs the Center for Global Strategy and Governance at Cal’s Haas School of Business, also chairs of the St. Petersburg business school’s International Academic Council. [He’s also vied with David Koch for pride of place among the top five contributors to a California Republican senatorial candidate.]
Let us quote from a WikiLeaks-ed 5 February 2001 CONFIDENTIAL/NOFORN cable from Ambassador William J. Burns in Moscow to the Secretary of State’s office:
2. (C) During the November 2006 inauguration of the newly-opened premises of the St. Petersburg State University School of Management, an American academic long associated with the school told CG about Vice Governor Yuri Molchanov’s “sinister” presence in their dealings.
3. (C) The Haas School of Management at U.C. Berkeley has nurtured the development of a new St. Petersburg School of Management since 1993. In addition to academic exchanges and curriculum development, representatives of the Haas school led a unique fund-raising campaign which collected $6.5 million in private U.S. and Russian funds to entirely renovate a dilapidated building for classroom use. As steward of the funds, which included a whopping $1 million from U.S. citizen Arthur B. Schultz, the Haas School kept close tabs on all expenditures. At one point in the early 1990s, when lenders were sought to renovate the old building, Vice Governor Molchanov’s private construction firm placed a bid. As the only local bidder and as a close associate of the now Dean of the School of Management, Molchanov apparently expected to win the tender. He did not. This provoked an angry response in which he demanded compensation from the Haas School representatives for the costs of preparing his bid. While the Haas School did not comply with his demand, they did find a way to mollify the Vice Governor, who “was always present at all our discussions”, according to the American source. “He gave me the creeps.” Although the source did not describe any specific intimidation, it was clear that the Americans experienced some degree of fear – a not unreasonable reaction in 1990s Russia.
4. (C) Vice Governor Malchanov is widely rumored to be corrupt, enjoying a convenient intersection of interests between his construction company and his position in the city government. He played a very visible role in the School of Management inauguration alongside Governor Valentina Matviyenko and President Putin.
Just what the school did to mollify Molchanov remains an open question. The only mention of him on the Russian university’s website is as one of seven judges in a 23 November 2000 student business plan competition. His name doesn’t appear in a search of UC Berkeley’s website.
What was most peculiar is that no mention of this fascinating story has appeared in the local news media after WikiLeaks put on line, with the notable help of Chelsea Manning. But then such is the plight of the impoverished, gutted, and pathetically understaffed American news media.
One has to wonder how many similar situations are confronted by other institutions, and by their staff members.
Perhaps these are just the moaning and musing of a stubborn old journalist who’s spent a great many years investigating corruption much closer to home. . .
The provocation for this rambling post follows, a pair of video reports from CCTV, like China Daily a Chinese state medium, reporting on similar deals by other American universities.
USC President C.L. Max Nikias on Investment in China
China is also one of the biggest markets for U.S. universities. The number of Chinese students studying abroad is soaring, but the U.S. only attracts a fraction of them. Now American colleges are trying to change that: they already have the biggest number of satellite campuses and partnerships in China. The University of Southern California (USC) is one school investing time, money, and people towards this goal. CCTV’s Phillip Yin speaks to USC President C.L. Max Nikias about the university’s efforts in China.
Foreign Universities Setting up Shop in India
For years, India has been sending students away to learn the skills to build the economy back home. Now overseas universities are coming to India. CCTV’s Shweta Bajaj reports from New Delhi.