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Anita18
09-22-2010, 04:14 AM
And I'm speaking as someone who grew up in a one-test-takes-all system. Really, sometimes I really do think the American students are less willing to think outside the box than I do, hence my remarks.
Personally, I'm coming from the viewpoint of a graduate of a very nerdy liberal arts college in the US. Every one of my college friends is a dork of some kind, every single one of them. :lol: We just love to learn. (I never heard of a plagiarism issue among my college classmates, but maybe I just hung out with the uber-dorky crowd. :lol: )

And even my bf, who's not as open-minded with the love of learning as my classmates, is fairly creative despite his engineering background. I'm just surrounded by it, I guess that's why I disagree with your opinion on American students.

Japanfan
09-22-2010, 07:40 AM
Even in the grad school I work in, many students don't understand the concept of plagiarism and think that copying and pasting stuff from different sources into their papers should net them A's.


I edit student papers and see a lot of plagiarized text, which I refuse to paraphrase. I can think of one student in particular whose English was terrible who did it over and over and over again, and somehow graduated. She was advised to quote and cite but even if she had done that, she should have failed a few courses because her papers were nothing but quote upon quote upon quote.




Many of these students are not native English speakers so some of the administration think we should let them off easy but hell. . .I'm sure many of these students are perfectly capable of turning in good work, but the concept of being proud of hard honest work hasn't been instilled in them.


Today there are many Korean and Chinese students attending Canadian universities who are only there because their parents give them no choice but to attend. Another possible reason is that's it is possibly cheaper to attend university in Canada than Korea or China. And I've heard it is easier to be accepted to a Canadian university than a Chinese university.

I feel really sorry for some of these kids because their English is so poor that they are not capable of doing the work required (reading, research, listening to lectures) to produce good work. And when they are not the least bit interested in what they are studying (as specified by parents) there isn't much motivation to work hard. But their parents want them to get the degree and could care less whether they are capable of properly earning it.

And the universities and colleges are partly to blame because they want Asian $$$ - international students pay huge tuition - so they keep letting them in and ensuring that they pass.

carrot
09-22-2010, 11:44 AM
^^ Do you know how crazy the Chinese and Korean university entrance exams are? 3 days straight of exams for China. I'm not too sure about Korea, but in China, getting into Beijing University is even more difficult than Harvard or McGill. The other universities are very selective as well. That is why some parents are willing to pay large amounts of money for their child to get an education overseas, even if their child has a poor command of the English language.

jlai
09-22-2010, 02:01 PM
I feel really sorry for some of these kids because their English is so poor that they are not capable of doing the work required (reading, research, listening to lectures) to produce good work. .

It's worse when these folks are studying MA TESL, training to be Eng teachers. (shudder)


And when they are not the least bit interested in what they are studying (as specified by parents) there isn't much motivation to work hard. But their parents want them to get the degree and could care less whether they are capable of properly earning it. .

But there's another extreme--When I went to college I was surrounded by Asian kids who thought anything less than 3.75 was a failure. (In that sense I was a failure, lol) The peer pressure (and family pressure) was immense and it got to me. I would have been happier going to a smaller state school on a scholarship, with fewer segmented (ie splintered) academic disciplines-- I wouldn't have to worry about not meeting peer expectations and spending $$$ all the time and swimming through a sea of classes.


And the universities and colleges are partly to blame because they want Asian $$$ - international students pay huge tuition - so they keep letting them in and ensuring that they pass.

I always wonder if 9/11 might have sth to do with American Us not finding inter. students big cash cows like other countries have done so.


That is why some parents are willing to pay large amounts of money for their child to get an education overseas, even if their child has a poor command of the English language.
Or perhaps they think English is the language of the business world and they want their kids to learn it. Universities are to blame though, no doubt.


I'm just surrounded by it, I guess that's why I disagree with your opinion on American students.

I think open-minded and eager students exist in every society.

I also think in every society, there are those who transcend the system and become creative/original, and there is the big pack in the middle who just believe in what is fed to them by the mainstream. Perhaps the American society, which loves extremes, merely has the best and worst of the creative/uncreative spectrum.

On the creative note: I had a lot of chronic daydreamers in my secondary school class--those who wouldn't make it academically. But many have become very successful graphic artists or designers because they spent their secondary school days honing their drawing skills. LOL

Prancer
09-22-2010, 02:27 PM
I always wonder if 9/11 might have sth to do with American Us not finding inter. students big cash cows like other countries have done so.

There was a dip in internatinal students after 9/11, as it was much harder to get visas there for a while, but the rebound started in 2006 and there is a record number of international students studying in the US this academic year.

made_in_canada
09-22-2010, 02:37 PM
I edit student papers and see a lot of plagiarized text, which I refuse to paraphrase. I can think of one student in particular whose English was terrible who did it over and over and over again, and somehow graduated. She was advised to quote and cite but even if she had done that, she should have failed a few courses because her papers were nothing but quote upon quote upon quote.

*snip

I feel really sorry for some of these kids because their English is so poor that they are not capable of doing the work required (reading, research, listening to lectures) to produce good work. And when they are not the least bit interested in what they are studying (as specified by parents) there isn't much motivation to work hard. But their parents want them to get the degree and could care less whether they are capable of properly earning it.


As for the plagiarism, I don't understand how people get away with it. I'm in my second year and I know of two instances where people were caught plagiarizing. In both instances they were given no credit for the paper that was plagiarized and it goes on their record. Also, if it happens again then they get kicked out. Do other schools just not enforce plagiarism policies?

As far as international students go, in my experience the Asian students struggle the most. We have a significant population of foreign students at my school and they generally have a terrible grasp of English and also are the least likely to befriend Canadians. The Saudis (of which there are almost as many), the Europeans, the South Americans all have it much easier in class because their English is much better. They are also more likely to participate in intramural sports, clubs and things which really helps their English.

Anita18
09-22-2010, 09:20 PM
^^ Do you know how crazy the Chinese and Korean university entrance exams are? 3 days straight of exams for China. I'm not too sure about Korea, but in China, getting into Beijing University is even more difficult than Harvard or McGill. The other universities are very selective as well. That is why some parents are willing to pay large amounts of money for their child to get an education overseas, even if their child has a poor command of the English language.
Yeah, you live and die by that thing. My parents emphasized how smart and successful my paternal uncle was by saying that he got the top score in his class. :lol: Now he makes bigger money in the US by teaching HS students how to ace the SAT than by doing engineering. :rofl:

jlai
09-22-2010, 09:44 PM
Demographic shift is going to force changes on that as well. I think certain Asian countries are experiencing baby bust that's eventually going to hit univ levels. Even the mainland Chinese figured that out by lowering admissions and getting students with $$$$ to enroll (like xxxxxx University in one of the southern provinces). :LOL:
eta I mean foreign students

GarrAarghHrumph
09-22-2010, 10:21 PM
One of the interesting things I've read about re: Chinese unis is that they're setting up programs to bring in foreign students and their money. And since learning Chinese can be a significant obstacle to that, they set these programs up using English as the medium of instruction.

jlai
09-24-2010, 05:23 PM
Digging Out of Student Debt
http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/110724/digging-out-of-student-debt

And she owes more than the girl who graduated from NYU.

ETA: my bad. She owes only slightly less.

On a different note, I also hear that mainland Chinese college grads have the same problems. Going through the grind and not finding the job to make the degree worthwhile.

TreSk8sAZ
09-24-2010, 05:43 PM
I think there's another problem here that people often overlook. A University cannot survive without students - therefore they offer employment statistics, percent of graduates with a job at so many months out (6-9, generally) and salary info. They essentially "sell" why their Uni is the best and even if you have to pay more, it's worth it because hey, 90% of our grads have jobs with a median salary of XX on graduation!

The problem is, many people cannot see beyond the numbers or take them with a grain of salt. Sure, it sounds wonderful that a Uni is placing 85-90% of their (say) engineering students. But WHERE are they being placed, and how? I know many graduate schools that are creating fellowships that last 3-6 weeks right around reporting time so they can claim those students have jobs. Usually voluntary surveys skew the pay scales as well, as many students don't want to admit they don't have a job or aren't making much.

Students don't have a real way to research those numbers accurately. Even if they do, they assume they'll be in those top jobs because they're smart or what not, so they won't have any trouble making a living and paying off loans when they're done. Unfortunately, this often isn't true.

Not all of the blame is on the schools, certainly. Students should be able to think for themselves before getting into debt. However, when schools blatantly overstate their real statisics it does give a student a justification on why to get in debt.