Money Over Everything
I'm an UBC alumnus.
I graduated from the University of British Columbia in the Summer of 2006, and since then, the university has been calling me approximately once a month. Interestingly, they're not here to reminisce about the glorious college days, or to reconnect about the fascinating innovations of the ever expanding campus. They're not even here to say hi.
They just wanted my money.
So when this morning I read about the UBC Vantage College targeted specifically towards international students, what stood out for me was not that the program website has a Chinese specific page and disregarded any other international students, or even the possibility that this program may result in hindering foreign students from cultural integration. What the program evoked was the same feeling that the Alumni Affairs donation phone calls managed to do on a monthly basis. The feeling that the University of British Columbia has one message for all its local, international, past, existing, and future students:
Money over everything.
Vantage College has nothing to do with race. It barely has anything to do with education. It has everything to do with maximizing revenue. What message does this send to the rest of the world about higher learning in Canada? I have no idea. I'm not an expert economist, perceptive politician or an accomplished administrator. I'm just a UBC alumnus.
And I feel like we can do better.