July 4, 2021
As an elite school that educates the masses and pumps money into the economy, UC San Diego is rarely the target of strong criticism. But a lawmaker unloaded last week, accusing UCSD and its sister campuses at Berkeley and Los Angeles of betraying Californians.
Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) told the Union-Tribune that the UC system — and those three campus in particular — “focused on admitting out-of-state students at the expense of in-state students. They deny that. But if you just look at the numbers it’s pretty clear.”
Over the past decade, the La Jolla campus added 10,400 students, more than half of whom came from outside of California, notably China.
Education experts say UCSD and other schools made the move to offset an erosion in state funding for the UC system. They were forced to try to pay bills and bankroll growth by greatly increasing the number of students they admit from other states and nations. Those students pay more than twice as much in tuition.
Pradeep Khosla, who has been UCSD chancellor since 2012, denies that California students were put at a disadvantage. “No out-of-state (student) ever, during my time here, displaced a Californian,” he said in an interview. “Not once.”
But facing mounting pressure from parents and students unable to secure UC berths, the Legislature adopted a budget on June 28 that orders UCSD, UCLA and UC Berkeley to make a roughly 4 percent cut in the number of undergraduates who come from outside of California. That will collectively free up 4,500 slots for California residents at those campuses over the next five years.
The state will pay $184 million to cover the higher tuition money that would have come from out-of-state students.
“We’re doing it in the fastest way possible, which is to buy out the out-of-state students and replace them with California students,” said Ting, chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.