Contra Costa Times editorial

The University of California was founded in 1868 primarily to provide an excellent higher education for Californians, right?

It’s not a dangerous equivocation to say, well, yes and no.

There have always been UC students who weren’t residents of the state — at least when they applied for entry — as well as students who aren’t Americans.

Teaching and studying isn’t the be-all, end-all of the now 10-campus system, either, the carping of taxpaying old alums aside. A university by definition is an institute of both teaching and independent research, and UC researchers and faculty have been responsible for 5,505 inventions and 2,497 patents over the decades. The faculty has won 62 Nobel Prizes. They don’t need to be teaching Econ 101 to be contributing to our intellectual and economic treasures.

But the question of to what extent the actual undergraduate student body at the university ought to be made up of eligible California students has come to a head in recent years as budget-strapped administrators have increasingly looked to out-of-state students to balance the books.

The Los Angeles Times reported that UC last year took in $400 million more in fees because of the higher tuition costs non-Californians must pay. Fully one-fifth of the freshmen entering the university this fall are from outside California. And at the sought-after UCLA and UC Berkeley campuses, almost a third of those entering classes are non-Californians.

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[Source]: Contra Costa Times