November 11, 2010

College Admissions in America v. Canada

Here's an article from the Toronto Star that got me wondering about something else:

Long admired for raising academic superstars, parents of Asian background are coming under fire from their own community for pushing their children into university programs for which many have no real interest or talent and often quit in distress.

At a recent conference hosted by and for the [Greater Toronto Area’s] Asian community, Chinese-Canadian educators and professionals warned some 300 parents in Mandarin, Cantonese and English to stop giving their children no other choice than professional courses such as engineering, medicine, accounting or pharmacy — programs for which some are so ill-equipped and uninterested they drop out, fail, get suspended for cheating or suffer depression and acute anxiety.

This is the kind of article that you'd read in Los Angeles back in the 1970s: "Mellow Out, Chinese Dudes." 

Since then, however, American parents in LA have largely decided that 1400 years of Chinese test prep (the first Chinese civil service exams were held in 605 A.D.) can't be wrong, and have since switched their tunes to the Chinese one: getting into a fancy college is the most important thing ever.

But that Canadians are just now finally getting around to this raises a different question, one about differences between America and Canada. Granted, I don't know very much about Canada. Most of the time I've spent in Canada was in Holiday Inn Crowne Plazas, but I can say that Canada looked a lot like America (or at least its Crowne Plazas did). The main difference I noticed on business trips in the 1990s was that everybody drove around during the day with their headlights on, like they were on their way to some national funeral. "Did Wayne Gretzky die?" I asked, but it just turned out to be a safety regulation. 

Anyway, my point is that because America and Canada are so similar, it's interesting when they differ, especially when they differ in something that we Americans assume is just an inevitability of 21st Century life, like College Admissions Mania. In 2010, Chinese immigrants in LA and Toronto apparently feel the same way about getting into college, but Americans and Canadians evidently don't.

I just realized that I have no idea if Canadians get all worked up over getting into college the way Americans do.

If Canadians do, you sure don't hear about it much. Off the top of my head, I can name all of four colleges in Canada (Simon Fraser, McGill, U. of Toronto, and U. of Western Ontario). I guess that Canadian colleges must not employ the vast number of publicists and promoters that American colleges do. For example, to pick small liberal arts college at random, Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA has an Admissions Staff of 13, while Grinnell College in Iowa (1600 students) has an Admissions staff of 19. They spend the first few months of the year reading applications, but most of the rest of the year promoting their respective colleges. 

To an American by now, that just seems like the natural order of things. How can you have a modern civilization of Holiday Inn Crowne Plazas and automobile safety regulators without having a vast pyramid of increasingly exclusive colleges all expensively elbowing each other for the spotlight?

But, does it seem inevitable to a Canadian? The only thing I've ever read about college admissions in Canada was a Malcolm Gladwell article about his own extremely low-key experience getting into college, which made Canada in the 1980s sound like America in a Heinlein novel in the 1950s: You know, when it's Labor Day Weekend and the 18-year-old hero of the book still hasn't decided where he's going to go to college: "I don't know, I guess I'll take the bus down to State U. on Tuesday and register for some classes."

So, if you know anything about college admissions in Canada, please let me know.

87 comments:

Robert said...

A Canadian professor quits:


http://www.canadianjusticereviewboard.ca/article-Academia's%20road%20to%20ruin.htm

Anonymous said...

Where is the actual article from the University?

Anonymous said...

There are no standardized tests for admission. Admission is based solely on grades.

There are no elite private universities and tuition is heavily subsidized by the provincial province. For example, tuition at the University of Toronto runs roughly 7-8k.

In general, far less stress involved compared to the US.

Anonymous said...

I went to college in Canada and grad school in the USA.

Applying to college was pretty straightforward. I filled out a 3-page form at my high school's guidance office. Either I or my school sent the form to the college's admissions office. My school sent the college my grades. A couple of weeks later, I got admitted.

Note there were no PSAT's, SAT's, whatever else. In Canada, admission is on the basis of high school grades, which are deemed (I imagine) to be comparable among schools.

Note also that most Canadians go to the closest college, since (1) all colleges are deemed to be more or less equal even though they really aren't (2) until very recently, the student loan system made it difficult to go to college out of province.

It probably took me a total of 3 hours to apply to college. The American system has some real advantages, but it just seems obvious that the American college application system is wasteful and no more fair than grades + SAT + lottery would be.

Simon in London said...

I know that college admissions here in the UK bears zero resemblance to how I've seen you and others describe the US experience. Possibly because all but one UK Universities are State-run public sector bodies, marketing and admissions are, well, much as you'd expect from a State monopoly. Also the attitude of the public to University seems different, much more laid-back even amongst the Upper-Middle class.

Anonymous said...

I went to university in Canada. By the way, it's called university, not college. College in Canada refers to community college.

Universities in Canada are a lot more academics and test results based. I like this method, because it means that some kid who's dumb as a rock but on the basketball team can't get into a good university as easily as he could have in the States. When I applied to university, they only wanted to see my high school marks, my SAT score, and two teacher recommendations. They did not ask for a list of my extracurricular activities, nor did they want me to write an essay or tell them my racial/ethnic group. I think this system because it's a lot more meritocratic.

Anonymous said...

I am from new england and my son is in a diploma program in canada. The equivalent program in the typical state school diploma mill would be worthless toward his working in his chosen field within 4 or five years (just not rigorous oe career oriented enough)

Kolya said...

What about university admissions in Australia? We have no SATs, no personal statements, no extracurriculars, no teacher''s recommendations. The results from your last year of high school exams get turned into a number. The higher, the better. Then you write down the coursesyou want to get into (BA at UniMelb, BSc at Monash, etc) students are admitted by a computer in order of their number until there are no places left. That's it.

Also, students in Australia almost never move to another city for university. If you live in Melbourne, you go to the Unicersity of Melbourne (or possibly Monash University). We still live in StateU world ....

Andrew said...

I can speak to the situation in Ontario, as someone who graduated from high school in 1995.

Back then, there was a common application for all Ontario universities where you picked 3 faculties at different, or the same, universities. We competed pretty much solely based on high school graduating averages, since we don't have anything like the SAT in Ontario. I think you can pick 5 faculties and schools now.

That was around the time the Maclean's magazine university rankings started, which caused something of a sensation by ranking universities. There's a definite hierarchy of universities, but the gap isn't necessarily that large, and it's perfectly conceivable that someone would go to a lesser ranked university because it's closer to home or they got a scholarship or something like that.

It is more competitive to get into the top programs, which are mostly at the graduate level, but some of which are at the undergrad level (e.g. comp sci or engineering at Waterloo, pharmacy at Toronto, business at Western).

Also note that it is a lot more competitive to get into professional programs such as medicine or law, because all universities are essentially public and the government limits the number of law schools and medical schools. The positive is that we don't have the same kind of glut in lawyers that exists in the USA.

The tuition fees for university are a lot more reasonable than the USA, so most people don't graduate with a debt of more than the low tens of thousands. American tuition fees seem insane to us.

Finally, we call them universities, not colleges. Colleges here are the equivalent of junior colleges in the USA.

Andrew said...

One more thing: Canadians really don't care that much about collegiate sports. We have university football teams, but attendance will be in the hundreds, maybe a few thousand in some cases. We don't have full athletic scholarships for the most part, although there is now some wiggle room on that.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. The article never considers the possibility of HBD and just mentions all of the politically correct explanations for East Asian over-performance relative to whites. Meanwhile, as usual, when East Asians are compared to whites, Steve Sailer doesn't seem to disagree with the politically correct conventional wisdom. I'm surprised that he hasn't even dropped in the phrases workaholic or grind out in this post.

"Since then, however, American parents in LA have largely decided that 1400 years of Chinese test prep (the first Chinese civil service exams were held in 605 A.D.) can't be wrong, and have since switched their tunes to the Chinese one: getting into a fancy college is the most important thing ever. But that Canadians are just now finally getting around to this raises a different question, one about differences between America and Canada."

Really? That must explain why whites are still vastly under-performing in terms of academics relative to East Asians in California. In fact, the degree of Asian over-representation at most of the California public universities is even larger than the degree of over-representation reported for UBC, which means that as usual, when it comes to discussing East Asian academic performance Steve Sailer offers up nothing more than his pet theories and doesn't both to check whether or not they match up with reality.

Davout said...

Here's a website documenting affirmative action in Canadian Universities.

Kijkfaas McGee said...

Yes, Canadian academia is more laid back than American, and British academia is more laid back than both. The most insufferable students you meet at top schools abroad are invariably Americans from the Ivy League.

Asian students have more or less taken over the University of Toronto. Once in a while, there are remarks, made by people in the upper administration, about this fact, often rueful. Asians students tend to be deadly boring, anti-social, clannish and non-sporty. Such administrators are then made to prostrate themselves, but everyone knows that something crucial has been lost. The University may be the best in research, but no Canadians actually want to go there.

Heigh ho. On it goes.

Paavo said...

I'm surprised that you Americans don't drive with headlights on. What is the connection to funerals?

Anonymous said...

The Gladwell article is here:

pretty funny...

http://www.gladwell.com/2005/2005_10_10_a_admissions.html

"But since all colleges were part of the same public system and tuition everywhere was the same (about a thousand dollars a year, in those days), and a B average in high school pretty much guaranteed you a spot in college, there wasn't a sense that anything great was at stake in the choice of which college we attended. The issue was whether we attended college, and—most important—how seriously we took the experience once we got there. I thought everyone felt this way. You can imagine my confusion, then, when I first met someone who had gone to Harvard.

"....Once, I attended a wedding of a Harvard alum in his fifties, at which the best man spoke of his college days with the groom as if neither could have accomplished anything of greater importance in the intervening thirty years. By the end, I half expected him to take off his shirt and proudly display the large crimson "H" tattooed on his chest. What is this "Harvard" of which you Americans speak so reverently?"

spacehabitats said...

"I don't know, I guess I'll take the bus down to State U. on Tuesday and register for some classes."

Have Space Suit, Will Travel, right? I love your Heinlein references,Steve.

And thanks for mentioning my Alma mater, Grinnell College; "The Harvard of the Midwest", as it likes to style itself.

I guess I should be thankful for the admissions officers' tireless efforts to maintain the market value of my diploma.

Johann said...

You may find this article interesting:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/11/10/too-asian/

Anonymous said...

Steve Hsu links to an article about over-representation of Asians in best universities and Whites' reaction to this:
http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2010/11/too-asian-in-canada.html#links

Check out comments section. It seems that the attitude of Asians commenting on it is mostly "We don't care! Compete with us or take it up the ass". I find it a little disturbing. The people who built an attractive country called Canada probably were building it for themselves, not for Asian immigrants to come and out-compete them.

Who Do Wu said...

Canadians are sooo adorable. How preciously innocent.

Next up. American-style massive anti-Asian reverse discrimination to bring socially engineer fairness back into the system.

mengbomin said...

Yay for the hat tip to Grinnell and our lovely admissions department.

dsfasfadsfasd said...

This is the funniest shit I ever read.

"At a recent conference hosted by and for the GTA’s Asian community, Chinese-Canadian educators and professionals warned some 300 parents in Mandarin, Cantonese and English to stop giving their children no other choice than professional courses such as engineering, medicine, accounting or pharmacy — programs for which some are so ill-equipped and uninterested they drop out, fail, get suspended for cheating or suffer depression and acute anxiety.
'The east Asian community needs a wake-up call that we know won’t be popular,' said Yau. 'Even though our children always seem to have high enough marks to get into university, the hidden truth is that they don’t always have the independence or social skills to survive once they’re there.'”

East Asian students go into the fields PRECISELY BECAUSE they lack social skills. Those with social skills go into business, journalism, and public relations. Chrissakes.

safasdfasdf said...

"Yau said it’s not 'natural' for any group to have so many students heading for university. 'Can they really all be qualified or emotionally ready for that kind of learning?'”

This is why East Asians will never gain the power of Jews. They lack chutzpah and tend to be too self-defacing. When Jews gain 'too much power', they make damn sure they keep it and gain more and aggressively attack those who complain as 'Nazi' or 'anti-semitic'. Yet, Asians apologize and beat on themselves for being too good in school. Well, they better be cuz they aint better at anything else--sports, music, sex, conversation, etc.

Another difference I noticed between Jews and Asians. Jews exploit white guilt to promote and morally justify Jewish power. Asians SHARE in white guilt and act as though their own success too is a 'racist' privilege that must be curtailed by affirmative action.

adsfasdfasdf said...

I wonder if Canadian media will report that its sports teams are too black, or its media is too Jewish. Rotfl.

As for anxiety and timidity among Asians, maybe it has something to do with their natural makeup, but ooooh, saying so would be 'racist'.
If you've seen Japanese movies, it seems like everyone is emotionally messed up in one way or another--even the dummies.

And this problem could in some ways be worse in Canada because Asians are a small minority. Timid people may at least feel culturally comfortable in a society where their kind is the majority. But in a society where they are the minority, a small one at that, they may not only feel timid but ill at ease. Asians like belonging to a society and hierarchy with a built-in sense of place. In the West where things are more individualistic and existential, many Asians may not know 'their place' and lack the chutzpah to carve one out.

But there is probably some truth to the criticism in this article, and not just pertaining to Chinese in Canada but Asia as a whole where education is essentially mindless and demanding cram school until college... whereupon everyone is burnt out and takes it easy... which may be why most Asian colleges are useless. Asian education puts 90% of the stress on getting to a good college--seen as heaven--and only 10% on doing well in college. Students figure since they 'sacrificed' so much to get to a good school, they are finally entitled to relax and take it easy.
Since social status is more important among Asians, the very 'honor' of going to a great college has greater meaning than actually doing great work there.

ERM said...

I'm American but went to a Canadian university, one from your list (the best one, BTW). Granted this info is more than ten years out of date now but at the time it was pretty straight forward: short application with relevant biographical facts, transcript, some letters of recommendation, and SAT I/II scores. Nothing involving any official victim status for AA purposes. There was an optional essay for a scholarship, which I wrote and duly received a modest but pleasant discount in such-and-such Old Wasp's name for four years. The whole thing took maybe an hour of my time, not counting rounding up the documents.

For Canadian students applying, I think GPA is the most relevant fact: you used to hear that the cut-off for the year had been, say, 87%, though that changed year to year and the standards for different provinces were different. (Specifically, the school seemed to think that Albertans and Quebeckers were brighter on the whole, and so the cutoff was lower, and Ontarians dimmer, and so their cutoff was higher; other provinces were in between. Anecdotal experience suggested this was a correct impression.) There's no SAT or equivalent in Canada, also no AP or equivalent, so none of that applies.

The closest to an admissions mania that ever happened was in 2003 (I think) when Ontario abolished Grade 13, so they graduated a double cohort that year. Admissions were very tough that year and the incoming freshman class was noticeably brighter than, say, mine.

Demographically, the university was probably about a quarter French, a quarter Jew, a quarter Asian, and a quarter miscellaneous gentile white, with a modest admixture of Other.

bjdoooble said...

So my experience from last century in Toronto is that getting into any college in Canada isn't that hard - U of Toronto will accept pretty much anybody, but also fail lots of the first year students. That's when the real winnowing occurs.

The process of applying to university was similar to the UK, you had to do well in six OAC credits, the equivalent of AP classes. As a friend said to me, "They send the scores to a computer in Guelph that spits out your acceptance. That's it." Extra-curriculars, difficulty of schedule, SAT etc. etc. did not matter at all. This made for a much more relaxed high-school experience. As somebody who moved to Canada in high school from a hothouse American high school, it was a welcome change. I think the process has changed recently, can't speak to that.

But that doesn't mean there weren't gradations of prestige. Getting into U of T engineering is a much bigger deal than getting into regular A&S. Canadians will wear "Engineering" leather jackets like they're on varsity football (which is not a big deal in Canada). And getting into the Trinity college at U of T (which gives you the right to eat at Trinity cafeteria and, if you do really well, live at the residential college) is a bigger deal than being a regular old student. Most of the Toronto elite are "Trinitrons." The other high-prestige school was the Western business school, the Canadian equivalent of Wharton (McGill was pretty much on nobody's radar, Montreal is far away and very cold).

There really is no tradition of collegiate liberal arts in Canada . . . the idea of spending four years studying history or philosophy is pretty foreign to the average Canadian student, white or non-white. That may be related to the fact that there are also relatively few residential colleges in Canada - the biggest colleges are U of T and York, and they are essentially commuter schools. If you want to go to a SLAC, you'll have to go out to Nova Scotia.

This raises the question of how Canada raises an elite if it's not accomplished through the college system. The real sorting process occurs in the high schools, I think - going to Upper Canada College (an exclusive high school in Toronto) is a bigger deal than where you went to college. That's one reason why Canada is relatively unconcerned about immigration, the elite is untouched by competition from immigrants. Look at City Councillors in minority majority Toronto - they are all white, with the exception of Lee and Cho.

http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp

By the way, high school football coach Rob Ford is now mayor, and by general consensus is a total joke. He got elected by appealing to anti-gay sentiment among recent immigrants. His code word was "gravy train."

This interview is a classic.

http://www.eyeweekly.com/city/required%20reading/article/105066--rob-ford-blows-off-the-cbc

Anonymous said...

Back at American universities...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n6OFz13FBc&feature=player_embedded

George said...

Steve, in Canada, university (college) is a universal "right". There is no cost based admission competion, although it does exist. For instance, Quebec charges slightly more for out of provence students, but the charges are all artificially maintained by tax dolaers. So where an Ivy League school can charge tens of thousands to an undergrad for its sevices, Canadaian schools are restricted to charging a token fee of a few thousand (because tax payers are footing the tremendous overhead costs). So schools are forced to chose on an achedemic basis. U of T, Queen's and several others are considered elite because they chose the cream of the crop while second tier schools get pretty much everyone else. A system of community colleges exists to cater to the needs of people who are looking for skills, much like your junior colleges. In a nutshell, of course.

Matra said...

First of all colleges and universities are two different things, not just in Canada, but in the UK and Ireland too. Universities are more academic and difficult to get into while colleges mostly offer more structured job specific courses to just about anyone who finished school. (It's similar in the UK).

I went to one of the Canadian universities you mentioned for which I think I had to apply 8 or 9 months in advance of attending. Before that I considered going to a college. The day after Labour Day in my first year out of school I realised I didn't want to work so I phoned a couple of colleges and asked if it was too late to attend and was told that I could if there was room in the specific course. One of the colleges had already accepted me months before (I didn't respond to that offer) for a different course so it was just a matter of formally accepting their offer and changing courses as they already had me on file. However, another college with a good reputation that I had not previously applied to also accepted me as long as I brought my credentials (and a cheque) to the school before (IIRC) the end of the second week of classes. With more formal admission requirements a Canadian university would not have accepted a latecomer in my situation. This was in the early 90s. I think it still works that way.

BTW university/college sports are not popular in Canada. (Though football in Francophone Quebec may be an acception). Most Canadian men follow at least one major American sport, but few follow NCAA. Even Canadians find it weird to follow college sports.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, Mr. Sailer, you go out of your way to search for these stories that just confirms your biases.

Next time, only post stories that come from reputable sources.

Mr. Anon said...

Canada as a nation, and canadians as a people, never struck me as being especially ambitious.

Q. Where are all the ambitious canadians?

A. In America.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, canadians are not insane about admission to elite schools. This paper says that canada lacks a "steep prestige hierarchy" in their colleges:

http://econ.ucsd.edu/~vramey/research/Rugrat.pdf

Harmonious Jim said...

Canada's worst college is undoubtedly the absurd "First Nations University of Canada". Created to (a) channel more degrees to natives (via lower standards and useless "Native Studies" courses, what else?) and (b) give lots of patronage opportunities to the coterie of Indian Chiefs who controlled it, using the ample public monies provided. Naturally, the enterprise was soon hit by scandals, mis-spending, corruption, firings, censure by the national association of academics, and eventually threat of defunding from government. A cautionary tale. Some order has been restored by having the nearby University of Regina take over - to cries of "neo-colonialism" from the left.

Anonymous said...

Canada was almost 99% White until the late 1960's. The whole race industry thing is a new experience for us.

Anonymous said...

There isn't an equivalent to the SATs in Canada nor are most Canadian universities as insistent on students having traditional SWPL extra curricular activities on their applications. Even the top colleges are easy to get into provided that you have (a) good marks from a non-ghetto school and (b) a letter of recommendation from an elite. Canadians that are really ambitious do not apply to Canadian colleges, they apply to American or British colleges. Post-grad is far more competitive in Canada than undergrad.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading a study from a school in California comparing the levels of helicopter parenting in Canada and the US. The study's authors suggested that the steep hierarchy between different colleges in the US, and the fierce competition to gain admission led to greater levels of parental involvement in their kids activities. These hierarchies don't really exist in Canada. In order to be admitted to these schools one must begin preparing one's resume at an early age. In Canada most kids and their parents don't give much thought until the last year of high school.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Canadian undergraduate (not a good one, but still).

First, there is a matter of terminology. Here, "college" mainly refers to two-year vocational/transfer institutions, i.e. junior or community college. Four year bachelor-granting institutions are just called universities, although the American usage is sometimes used.

If I am not mistaken, the biggest difference between the US and Canadian post-secondary systems is the lack of private colleges and universities. Except for a few seminaries and career colleges, all the universities here are public institutions, like the state universities. So there's probably less competition for students, although universities still promote themselves to prospective undergraduates: go to high schools, prepare neat viewbooks and so forth.

Somewhat more relevantly, there is no SAT/ACT admissions tests used here, and IIRC there no essays to be written, and I don't think you need extra-circular activities all that much; only high school averages are used (when I applied, the lowest cut-offs were ~70% for arts programs and 80%-90% for science programs). In Ontario, the universities share the same admissions process, which further reduces the time, effort and money needed administer and use. Probably this is because the education system is more centralized within the provinces, rather than the local school boards so that less variation in quality and content of the schools.

Canadian universities are also a lot cheaper than US institutions. In Canada today, a year's tuition cost will cost around $2 000 (in Quebec) to $7 000 (in Nova Scotia, IIRC). Although it was probably a lot cheaper when Gladwell attended in the 1980's, before the funding cuts and the tuition increases of the 1990's. That probably that results in less worry in selecting universities.

Also note that Quebec differs in its post-secondary education system, which I commented on in a previous post here.

Anonymous said...

That Asians, through parental/societal pressure and high industriousness, often are pushed to achieve far beyond what IQ/aptitude/interest alone would suggest - is a given. The upside is they produce lots of academic superstars and don't waste their time pursuing frivolous careers. The downside is that plenty of them probably would be happier and more talented if they shifted their ambition down a notch.

By the way, this is as true of Indian-Americans (not sure about Indo-Canadians) as of Asians. Something like close to have the Carribean medical students are Indian, which is an indication of their extreme desire to attend medical school.

I think the ideal group might be the highly assimilated Japanese-American community. They work hard, attend university at a high rate, and succeed - they just let their kids choose the career and lifestyle they want. Whites and maybe NAMs are slacking off too much, while the Asians and maybe Indians are stepping on the pedal too hard.

L said...

Steve, do you think it would be a good idea to pick a college for my child based on how few admissions staff there are? I figure that, if they need so much marketing then they might not be a very good college. How does one find out this information?
Thanks.

eh said...

So, if you know anything about college admissions in Canada, please let me know.

Students are admitted to college in Canada. That's what I know.

Natalie said...

First things first: the schools you name are NOT colleges. They are Universties.

All Canadian provinces make the distinction. A college is a school offering 1 or 2 year programs, usually for some sort of trade.
A University offers four years+ and is the mode academic side.
To be in academia, you have to go university.

As for admissions, university admissions vary by province, but except for Quebec they are all largely similar.

Entrance is based on high school grades. There is no SAT or anything of the sort.
The required grades vary by program/faculty, both in terms of the grade itself and the classes it must be based on.

To major in anything from a Faculty of Science, the applicant will need a certain average (varies by year and number of applicants but in the 70%s most years) and the average MUST include a minimum number of HS senior math courses (I did three, but could have gotten by with two), science courses in the relevant field, and whatever else the province in question requires HS graduates to do - like language, social studies, etc.

There are no admisions essays.

You just send your HS transcript and an application fee.

Extracurriculars don't matter either in terms of admissions, but they do in terms of entrance awards. Someone with "outstanding community leadership skills" for example may very well get rewarded with a free semester.

I don't know anything about athletic programs. In Canada, it's just not that big a deal. Even for hockey. So, even if some schools do let jocks in for the sole reason of their sporting skills, it's not a very big factor, demographically speaking.

Hope that helps.

*My knowledge is based on my own experience from 2003-2007.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the actual article on Macleans with this interesting passage highlighted.

"The impact of high admissions rates for Asian students has been an issue for years in the U.S., where high school guidance counsellors have come to accept that it’s just more difficult to sell their Asian applicants to elite colleges. In 2006, at its annual meeting, the National Association for College Admission Counseling explored the issue in an expert panel discussion called “Too Asian?” One panellist, Rachel Cederberg—an Asian-American then working as an admissions official at Colorado College—described fellow admissions officers complaining of “yet another Asian student who wants to major in math and science and who plays the violin.” A Boston Globe article early this year asked, “Do colleges redline Asian-Americans?” and concluded there’s likely an “Asian ceiling” at elite U.S. universities. After California passed Proposition 209 in 1996 forbidding affirmative action in the state’s public dealings, Asians soared to 40 per cent of the population at public universities, even though they make up just 13 per cent of state residents. And U.S. studies suggest Ivy League schools have taken the issue of Asian academic prowess so seriously that they’ve operated with secret quotas for decades to maintain their WASP credentials."

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/11/10/too-asian/#idc-container

Steve Sailer said...

Grinnell has this giant endowment because of:

A. A Grinnell graduate named Robert Noyce, who had invented this thingie called the semiconductor chip, talked the Board of Trustees in putting some of the endowment money into this new start-up called Intel.

B. A regional businessman on the board of trustees named Warren Buffett talked his fellow trustees into investing in his new company called Berkshire Hathaway.

So, the professors get paid like they're in California but they live in a small town in Iowa.

Anonymous said...

I think the importance of "prestige" Colleges varies regionally in Canada, as it does in the US. But I also think that nowhere in Canada is the situation as out of control as in the "deep blue" parts of the US.

People don't realize it, but there are many smart kids in say suburban Ohio who with the right parents in Westchester might have gone to Princeton, but instead just go to a state college.

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with professional parents. A large enough city, now about a million inhabitants, but pretty isolated. I think there was maybe one private school in town (and a couple of "boot camp"-type private private institutions for troubled kids slightly out of town) but most everyone went to the public schools (including the bratty offspring of the local Mr. Burns, a man called Peter Pocklington whose kid would show up to public school in a limo).

There was de facto streaming through the public school French Immersion program -- parents who cared more about their kids' education sent them to French Immersion. And in High School I took International Baccalaureate, which I understand is mostly offered in private schools in the US, but is available in public schools in Edmonton.

When it came time to choose a college, I think all except 1 or 2 kids in my IB class of about 60 kids chose the local college, the University of Alberta. It's a decent enough college, and especially when I was there it was a great deal -- tuition was only about $1500 a year. (It's higher now).

I subsequently went to graduate school in Boston. I had some contact with Harvard at that time, and frankly I remain to be convinced that the average Harvard undergrad gets a better education than the average kid at the U of A. I mean, obviously it's a much more valuable degree from a c.v. standpoint, and there's the whole networking thing, etc. -- but in terms of how much you learn about Shakespeare or Newton or Heisenberg or Heidegger, it's not clear to me that the Harvard kids are doing better. Obviously it also depends a lot on the luck of the draw with your professors, of course.

A professor at the U of A told me that what distinguished the U of A from e.g. East Coast U.S. Universities was that you would find a much wider range of abilities at the U of A, precisely because it just vacuumed up nearly every kid in northern Alberta who wanted to go to college. You'd get everyone from kids who could have gone to Harvard under the right circumstances, to kids who were just barely above community college level.

But my impression is that the "prestige" degree idea is found more in other parts of Canada, especially the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor which is kind of our equivalent of the East Coast U. S. But still I don't think it's quite as out-of-control even there as in the U.S. Canadians do have a reputation for being a bit less hyper than Americans, after all.

On a side note, I do think that the rise of this intense "branding" of different colleges in the US is due at least in part to the fact that vastly more women now go to college. The Wedding Industrial Complex has been built on the idea that Your Wedding is this Life-Transforming Experience which must be Perfect (and for which you must therefore pay through the nose). Similarly, "The College Experience" is now seen as a similar life-transforming event (an even more expensive one). I mean, I guess going to College to get an education and hopefully a degree that will get you a job was always seen as "important" (at least among the minority of people who went to College 50 or 100 years ago) -- but now it must be this Perfect Rite of Passage with agonized deliberations over whether Columbia or Brown is a better "fit", just as one agonizes over what kind of centerpiece to have at the wedding reception.

Anonymous said...

"Check out comments section. It seems that the attitude of Asians commenting on it is mostly "We don't care! Compete with us or take it up the ass". "

Isn't that what you white nationalists tell the blacks and Hispanics pining for affirmative action? What goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

"East Asian students go into the fields PRECISELY BECAUSE they lack social skills. Those with social skills go into business, journalism, and public relations. Chrissakes.
"

I disagree strongly. I find that relative to their intelligence, Asians generally possess a higher level of social aptitude than caucasians. By that I mean, many, if not most, caucasian males who possess an exceptionally high IQ tend to be socially maladroit, if not suffer from mild asperger's. Asians at the same end of the cognitive spectrum tend to be far more socially adept.

I think you're perhaps mistakening prudent reserve or sound refusal to conduct one's self like an exhuberent fool for social deficiency. When in fact the opposite is usually the case.

Anonymous said...

"East Asian students go into the fields PRECISELY BECAUSE they lack social skills. Those with social skills go into business, journalism, and public relations. Chrissakes.
"

I disagree strongly. I find that relative to their intelligence, Asians generally possess a higher level of social aptitude than caucasians. By that I mean, many, if not most, caucasian males who possess an exceptionally high IQ tend to be socially maladroit, if not suffer from mild asperger's. Asians at the same end of the cognitive spectrum tend to be far more socially adept.

I think you're perhaps mistakening prudent reserve or sound refusal to conduct one's self like an exhuberent fool for social deficiency. When in fact the opposite is usually the case.

Anonymous said...

"East Asian students go into the fields PRECISELY BECAUSE they lack social skills. Those with social skills go into business, journalism, and public relations. Chrissakes.
"

I disagree strongly. I find that relative to their intelligence, Asians generally possess a higher level of social aptitude than caucasians. By that I mean, many, if not most, caucasian males who possess an exceptionally high IQ tend to be socially maladroit, if not suffer from mild asperger's. Asians at the same end of the cognitive spectrum tend to be far more socially adept.

I think you're perhaps mistakening prudent reserve or sound refusal to conduct one's self like an exhuberent fool for social deficiency. When in fact the opposite is usually the case.

Anonymous said...

"As for anxiety and timidity among Asians, maybe it has something to do with their natural makeup, but ooooh, saying so would be 'racist'.
If you've seen Japanese movies, it seems like everyone is emotionally messed up in one way or another--even the dummies."

Seriously pal, you must lead an extreme cloistered and insular lifestyle if you sincerely subscribe to most of the drivel you opine, or you lack the social nous and observational ability to correctly discern what's going on around you.

Anonymous said...

This is all being said, I think the striking academic and economic successes of Asians, or at least Eastern Asians, in first world countries could become a serious problem for them, if not society as a whole, if permitted to continue unrestrained.

I see it first-hand in my adopted country of New Zealand, where burgeoning resentment is accruing at well-to-do Asians who usurp all the key places at selective schools and universities. A model minority can be accepted or even feted by the host population - a market-dominant minority is bound to engender resentment, if not explicit hostility.


"In the West where things are more individualistic and existential, many Asians may not know 'their place' and lack the chutzpah to carve one out.
"

Ha ha ha ha - buddy your naivete just gets more and more amusing. Do you have any idea what kind of comic delights you provide to others?

"Since social status is more important among Asians, the very 'honor' of going to a great college has greater meaning than actually doing great work there.
"

I guess that must explain the total dearth of Asian graduate students conducting noteworthy research in leading universities. You're a genius!

Anonymous said...

"... many, if not most, caucasian males who possess an exceptionally high IQ tend to be socially maladroit, if not suffer from mild asperger's. Asians at the same end of the cognitive spectrum tend to be far more socially adept."

This is true, but it may also explain why the white high IQ guys might be more likely to make the big breakthrough. Being aspergian, they're more willing to go against social norms, strike out in a new creative direction, etc. Perhaps the well-adjusted high IQ Asian guy is perfectly happy to do normal science, as opposed to paradigm shifting science.

BTW, I'm talking about really high IQ types here, not just your average nerd.

rob said...

American tuition fees seem insane to us [Canadians].

They seem insane to us Americans as well. I don't think that The Powers that Be (TPtB) have thought through the consequences of turning the middle class into serious debtors. People who owe lots of money like inflation: that's pretty much everyone who went to college in the last 10-15 years.

That reminds of my plank for the Republicans to get young college-educated white women (and others) to vote for them. Appropriate univerity endowments and use that money to cover X% of student loans. The schools will pitch a fit, but what can they do? Vote Democrat twice?

Canada was almost 99% White until the late 1960's. The whole race industry thing is a new experience for us.

How Jewish was Canada? The college prestige racket is very, very Jewy. In low-Jew areas, the status competitions are different.

Not to mention that founding stock WASPs, not wanting to hand a nation they and their ancestors had worked so hard to create to the first bunch of verbally agressive, pushy "Scots-Irish" who wanted to take it, instituted holistic admissions policies to keep their colleges. If Canada didn't have many Jews, they wouldn't have had to fiddle with meritocracy to keep out aliens.

And U.S. studies suggest Ivy League schools have taken the issue of Asian academic prowess so seriously that they’ve operated with secret quotas for decades to maintain their WASP credentials."

Lolin' Not WASP credentials.

Are Asians seriously whining that whites aren't letting them take over fast enough? The Asians have done such a great job with Asia! That goes double for the Hindus.

asdfadsfsadf said...

"The people who built an attractive country called Canada probably were building it for themselves, not for Asian immigrants to come and out-compete them."

Shhhh. Sell the Chinese opium again.

asdfasdfasdf said...

You know... East Asians must be really really boring if Canadians of all people say they're boring.

asdfasdfasf said...

"Asians at the same end of the cognitive spectrum tend to be far more socially adept."

Yeah, among fellow geeks who read Star Trek novels.

travis said...

Since then, however, American parents in LA have largely decided that 1400 years of Chinese test prep (the first Chinese civil service exams were held in 605 A.D.) can't be wrong, and have since switched their tunes to the Chinese one: getting into a fancy college is the most important thing ever.

But the question is, how did we get to this point? The best reason I've seen given can be found in John Taylor Gatto's excellent Underground History of American Education:

"Our most famous true believers, the Puritans, thought they could build a City on the Hill and keep the riffraff out. When it became obvious that exclusion wasn’t going to work, their children and grandchildren did an about-face and began to move toward a totally inclusive society (though not a free one). It would be intricately layered into social classes like the old British system. This time God’s will wouldn’t be offered as reason for the way things were arranged by men. This time Science and Mathematics would justify things, and children would be taught to accept the inevitability of their assigned fates in the great laboratory of true belief ever devised: the Compulsion Schoolhouse."

Exiled in the Frozen North said...

the University of Alberta. It's a decent enough college, and especially when I was there it was a great deal -- tuition was only about $1500 a year. (It's higher now).

Gee, it's nice to see you're keeping up with your alma mater. The MacLean's rankings just came out and the UofA is #4 in the whole goddamned country:

1) McGill
2) University of Toronto
3) University of British Columbia
4) University of Alberta
5) Queens


I subsequently went to graduate school in Boston. I had some contact with Harvard at that time, and frankly I remain to be convinced that the average Harvard undergrad gets a better education than the average kid at the U of A... in terms of how much you learn about Shakespeare or Newton or Heisenberg or Heidegger, it's not clear to me that the Harvard kids are doing better. Obviously it also depends a lot on the luck of the draw with your professors, of course.

Sorry to disillusion you, but I was a graduate student at Harvard for decade and have been an instructor at the UofA for a decade and a half, and you have no idea what you're talking about. No doubt a small number of students at the UofA are of Harvard-quality, but overall there is no comparison. The vast majority of Harvard undergraduates are far better prepared than UofA students. As for the faculty, again, no doubt there are excellent faculty members to be found at the UofA, but the overall quality at Harvard is far better. And the facilities at Harvard (like the library) are incomparably better. Money makes a difference, and Harvard's got a lot more!

I always say that if you're determined, you can get a bad education at Harvard, and under the right circumstances, you can get a better education elsewhere (including the UofA). But the intellectual environment there (the institution itself, the faculty and the students) gives you a much better starting point for getting a first-rate education (if you put in the effort).

As for cost, estimated tuition, fees, books etc. is $7.5k for a Canadian ($20k for a foreigner), with another $10k for living expenses.

Heliogabalus said...

Article quote:

'...admissions officers complaining of “yet another Asian student who wants to major in math and science and who plays the violin.”'

This is part of the problem with Asians on campus - they all seem to be cut from the same cloth, hence the perception of them as boring and interchangeable. Wouldn't it be more interesting if they got the occasional Asian who wants to major in archeology and plays the trumpet instead? You'd think trying to stand out from the crowd would also be a successful admissions strategy.

Matt said...

"The article never considers the possibility of HBD and just mentions all of the politically correct explanations for East Asian over-performance relative to whites."

It seems entirely possible Chinese grinding is in their genes, while not being so much in, say, European or Mongolian genes.

That's not necessarily bad, but may reduce the degree to which they are inventive in labour saving technology (like getting a draught horse to put your cart rather than having a rickshaw) and simplifying and reductive science as opposed to holistic learning methods ("The basic problem for Lawrence was that he was lazy. He had figured out that everything was much simpler if, like Superman with his X-ray vision, you just stared through the cosmetic distractions and saw the underlying mathematical skeleton." - this is tongue in cheek, but what if you're, well, less lazy?).

I've read stories about Western game developers going to Japan (which is, of course, not China) and working on game development where, rather than revolutionising their tools so their pipelines where more efficient, the Japanese developers seem to have met everything with idiot managers screaming "Guys, we gottah work hardah!" and "ganbare spirit", while not being gainsayed in the least by their staff, and also of stupid development strategies in which horrific periods of crunch and throwing any random content ideas they have out there are lionised rather than seem as the mark of social and technical inadequacy as we would in the West.

Matt said...

Asians at the same end of the cognitive spectrum tend to be far more socially adept.

Asian Americans may not be like this but there are strong trends towards hikkikomori or otaku with IQ in Japan... And I get the impression that personality type is more common there than in the West, generally.

I think a difference may be that Asian people have more explicit social rules and a fear of other people's response and these may disguise social inadequacy somewhat (and when there's a conflict people just assume that these people are tightass and rule bound rather than that they really can't do it any other way).

This is an interesting link btw:

http://tinyurl.com/2538h7g

"Kim looked at a specific version of the OXTR gene, whose carriers are allegedly more social and sensitive. But this link between gene and behaviour depends on culture; it exists among American people, who tend to look for support in troubled times, but not in Korean cultures, where such support is less socially acceptable.

As with previous studies, Kim found that Koreans are less likely than Americans to turn to their social circle for support and they get less out of doing so; they are more concerned about burdening their friends and straining their relationships.

To account for that, Kim also worked with a small group of 32 Korean-Americans who were born and raised in the US, but were genetically Korean. Kim found that the link between OXTR and emotional support among these volunteers was much closer to the culturally similar Americans than the genetically similar Koreans."


Perhaps a difference between Koreans and Americans but not widely held between the Post-Confucian Asia and the West though?

Peter A said...

Asians differ wildly in how "socially adept" they are. In my experience Koreans and Northern Chinese are very socially adept - also often pretty sporty, and the women are very good in bed. Maybe it's the Manchu/Mongol influence, who knows. Japanese are often painfully socially awkward - but Japanese Americans much less so, probably because extroverts are more likely to emigrate. Southern Chinese and Vietnamese tend to be socially awkward - my impression is that "East Asians" in America/Canada tend to be mostly from South China and Vietnam. Chinese from the native "elite" class (i.e. the people who made up the aristocracy and upper class before 1949) are often very suave and self-confident.

dearieme said...

"The Wedding Industrial Complex": well said, sir. If anyone can give me advice on how to defeat this beast, I'd be grateful. (I thought I might start by advocating the merits of a second-hand engagement ring. Ot a home-made one.)

MQ said...

Canada has less income inequality, a better social safety net, and more egalitarian norms, so it's a less "high-stakes" society. America is much more "get rich or die trying". So there's a greater premium at trying to get the few elite slots here in the U.S. That goes down to college admissions.

Anonymous said...

Whites have cram school too. It is called homeschool. How else do you think a group predominantly made up of fundies can score on average at the 85%ile on standardized tests?

CJ said...

Canadians drive with the headlights on because cars made in Canada are by law manufactured with daytime running lights that turn on with the ignition. This is good, and the U.S. should do it. I'm a Canadian who worked in the U.S. for 15 years and drove many thousands of miles on U.S. highways. The cost to the consumer is an additional 2 to 5% of gas consumption, depending on the size of the vehicle.

I haven't read this blog for a couple of weeks, so other commenters have already said most of what I would have said. Just a few things ...

There's less competition to get into Canadian universities because the rewards are less. Few Canadian lawyers make the bigbux that Ivy League law school graduates do (or did until lately). This is good. Also, Canadian law schools are not as closely associated with universities; Osgoode Hall, for instance, was a free-standing law school for many years and only affiliated with the unprestigious York U. out of convenience.

Ditto for doctors. Canadian doctors get money from provincial health authorities who don't care what medical school they went to. If they really wanted bigbux they'd go south of the border. This not so good.

Canadian universities aren't generally as big on "campus life" as American schools. More of them are commuter schools and fewer students live in dorms.

Canadian universities aren't all that great, and I say that as a degree holder from one of them. No Canadian scientist trained in the Canadian university system has ever won a Nobel Prize.

School sports are no big deal in Canada. Hockey is the #1, #2, and #3 sport in Canada (football is next, then baseball) and it has very little association with schools. There are three junior development leagues that produce talent for the professional leagues and they aren't connected to any of the educational systems. This is good. Relative to other Canadians, I'm a pro-American. In Colby Cosh's words, it's the land of baseball and ice cream. But even for me, U.S. college sport is bizarre and grotesque.

In any case, the Golden Age of College is probably over. It's never going to be what it was.

Just shoot me said...

"Whites have cram school too. It is called homeschool. How else do you think a group predominantly made up of fundies can score on average at the 85%ile on standardized tests?"

Huh. Speaks well of their IQ that the much-maligned "fundie" parents are capable of homeschool-cram-teaching, such that the kids score 85%.

Just shoot me said...

"People who owe lots of money like inflation: that's pretty much everyone who went to college in the last 10-15 years."

Errrr, one caveat. People who are in a position to raise their fees to keep UP with inflation like inflation.
Wage-slaves whose bosses are heartless just suffer ever increasing pain.
And, MOST who went to college do, in fact, fall into the wage-slave category. Even professionals are now at the mercy of H1-B visa replacement.

Anonymous said...

Asians aren't as bad as people make them out to be. They socialize and have some extracirriculars. However, it would be fair to say that they tend to be grinds and tend to be controlled by their demanding families, while also acknowledging that they are serious and responsible people.

2nd and more especially 3rd gen Asians are significantly better than the FOBs. For example, Japanese-Americans are pretty cool people on the whole, in that they're fairly laid back but are doing pretty well academically and socieoeconimically.

Anonymous said...

Quick Steve! Pull out Occam's Butterknife and try to explain away this one as well. Make sure you throw out the phrases grinding it out here and there.

Anonymous said...

Niece graduated from high school last June, enrolled in college – in B.C. some ‘colleges’ (2 years) have been legislated into ‘universities’ (4 years) – she is at one of the latter. She was pre-approved at U.B.C. last winter but didn’t maintain her high school marks – I gather U.B.C. wanted 92%, she had 85%. “Your parents treat you like shit for that? Yeah. Good – you deserved it.” The point being A: she’s brilliant – half an hour a day less of T.V./boyfriend would have got her in, and B: she knew that she was up against the Orientals and did not respond appropriately. Now, in addition to holding high marks at her present institution in order to transfer to U.B.C, she has to do the American – have Mum and Dad hire a consultant to write an application package to her chosen U.B.C. faculty, i.e. spew B.S. that has nothing to do with her chosen field of study. This is a recent Canadian job title – traditionally, we filled out the paperwork ourselves. This is why that nice young man chats to the old folks at your Mother’s care home and coaches your kid’s soccer team – he needs a resume, in addition to marks, for his chosen graduate faculty e.g. Education, Medicine – those with few seats and many applicants. Anecdotal: Niece’s boyfriend’s mother is U.B.C. admin and privately states 72% of the student body is Oriental i.e. East Asian. I believe blog posters mention 35-40% at some California campuses but those numbers are held down by American ‘Affirmative Action’ seats (theoretically outlawed in California). Canada has heavy preference/racist entry policies, as in the U.S., but without the quotas of the U.S. Native Indians who wish to study Education/become teachers in B.C., for example, have several significant advantages – the Faculty entry rules are far removed from non-Native applicants. In other words, if listed, an American would instinctively say ‘Black applicant.’

Anonymous said...

"The MacLean's rankings just came out and the UofA is #4 in the whole goddamned country"

I wouldn't put TOO much stock in those rankings (Maclean's, US News). A lot of the metrics used are really questionable as far as "quality of education delivered" goes.

"No doubt a small number of students at the UofA are of Harvard-quality, but overall there is no comparison. The vast majority of Harvard undergraduates are far better prepared than UofA students."

Oh, absolutely you're right that the Harvard kids take better advantage of the educational opportunities that are offered to them. I did specify that only a tiny minority of U of A students were Harvard quality.

But I was talking about the education that would be offered to 2 undergraduate students of equal intelligence -- let's stipulate "Harvard material" in both cases. And I had in mind something like getting a liberal education (whatever one's ultimate specialty). I probably exaggerated when I said that Harvard and U of A were equal -- see, I am too biased in favor of my alma mater! But I will still say that I don't think Harvard is "radically" better, just somewhat better (again, assuming an equal student which very few are at U of A). Hyper-ambitious Harvard profs obviously may not be as dedicated teachers, for example. Possibly the profs in the "hard" sciences, with reasonably objective measures of performance, are just radically better at Harvard. But in liberal arts fields (my area), I'm not so sure. There's a real tendency for Harvard profs in those fields to be like that guy, what was his name, whose excuse for plagarism in one of his books was that his grad student wrote it anyway. Harvard profs in liberal arts fields tend to be "resumé gods" (in David Brooks' phrase). The lesser pressure at the U of A of course meant more dead wood, but also more people who taught Shakespeare just because they loved Shakespeare and enjoyed communicating that love to students, I felt.

As for a better library at Harvard, no doubt, but that really makes very little difference to an undergraduate student. I mean, it's not like the U of A's library is terrible or something -- they have virtually any book you need to write your term papers.

You're also correct to point out that my info on the U of A is 20 years out of date. It has been doing its' level best to "Harvardize" itself as much as possible since even when I was there -- if it's #4 in Maclean's I guess it's succeeding.

Hope you're enjoying the winters with the 2 or 3 days every year where it drops to -40 centigrade. I always say that weather that briefly freezes your eyelids together when you blink builds character.

Toral said...

I wonder when SATs were dropped in Canada. As you see, some commenters took them and some didn't. I did, in the early 70s. Mistake to drop them; I suspect it has contributed to the tremendous grade inflation in high schools.

At that time, the U of Toronto at least definitely had notes on what high schools' marks needed to be adjusted a bit.

The lack of admission stress, then due to a number of factors:
limited number of applications (then 3, maybe now 5); less "background" info considered in applications;

But most importantly a much flatter prestige hierarchy. Law school the best example of this. There's nothing like Harvard or Yale, where a degree gets mentioned as a big deal any time you're written about for the rest of your life. In the early 80s at least, there were 3 law schools which claimed to be the best in Ontario (making them automatically the best in Canada, as we see it.) Western was just behind these 3, and ahead of 2 of them for business/tax law. And if you had to go to one of the other 2, it was no disaster either. People may joke about them, but you could still article for a big law firm and be hired there if you performed. And after you've worked for 5 years no one cares where you went to law school.

At the undergraduate level hierarchy even less important. Yes it's a bit prestige-y to go to the U of T, but if you live near a lesser university and want to stay close to home, you aren't crippling your career.

Re Harvard: the most brilliant student my good private school had in many years, now a top CEO, didn't get admitted; a dumb kid did, the same year -- on a rowing scholarship.

Anonymous said...

One man's industrious hardworker is another man's grind. Regardless of the terminology you utilize, Chinese and Koreans are massively outworking the competition and doing quite nicely for themselves in attaining professional certifications. The same pattern holds not just in Canada, but all across the anglosphere (Australia, NZ, U.S., UK).

To the extent that Asians/Indians are lacking in something, I'd say they are lower in ingenuity and innovativeness, with the notable exception of the highly creative Japanese. This might not hurt them on the individual level, but it impairs group dynamism.

Anonymous said...

There's plenty of evidence that Asians are very creative especially in visual arts but to acknowledge any Asian advantage in creativity would be too much of a blow to the racial egos of the white nationalist leaning readership of isteve.

Take a look at the current crop of American fashion designers.

"Asian-Americans Climb Fashion Industry Ladder"
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/fashion/05asians.html

"A Design Generation Rising"
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203440104574401320419023870.html

Anthony said...

Since social status is more important among Asians, the very 'honor' of going to a great college has greater meaning than actually doing great work there.

You mean like "studying" "Ethnic Studies" at Hahvahd?

Anonymous said...

When people analyze the impact of Asians and South Asians on Canada they forget the following:

China has 1.3 billion people
India has 1.2 billion people
Canada has 35 million

That's 1,300,000,000 and 1,200,000,000 vs 35,000,000

I am convinced that most people who use these numbers just say them but don't grasp the meaning of them. India's population increases by the amount of the ENTIRE Canada's population every couple of years.

They also forget the flow of people is almost entirely from China and India to Canada and not the other way around.

Then sometime they forget that the lower IQ and lazier Canadians built a country that is superior in living standards to that of the harder-working, smarter China.

Then they forget that China and India are more racist/discriminating then Canada in their policy and day-to-day interaction with other cultures.

After that the analysis spirals downwards with respect to any meaning that has any grounding in reality.

Anonymous said...

Niece graduated from high school last June, enrolled in college – in B.C. some ‘colleges’ (2 years) have been legislated into ‘universities’ (4 years) – she is at one of the latter. She was pre-approved at U.B.C. last winter but didn’t maintain her high school marks – I gather U.B.C. wanted 92%, she had 85%.

Wow. I didn't know you needed 92% to get into UBC. In the old days (early 70's) practically anyone who graduated high school could get in. Must be the Chinese influence. The Chinese have also driven up the price of housing in Vancouver to astronomical levels. Thanks a bunch. So most people who grew up there can't afford to live there, and now their kids can't get into UBC. Great.

So we have been colonized. The thing is, it is not as if we were living in the stone age before the Chinese descended on our shores. In fact, we had a nice country that was in fact much better than China or Hong Kong by almost any measure (which is why the Chinese came). The Chinese have not improved things as far as I can tell. Thanks a bunch Trudeau for bringing in multiculturalism.

Oh well, at least the Chinese don't go around blowing shit up. I mean, I'd much rather have Chinese than people from, say, Somalia. But sometimes I long for the old days before multiculturalism. In my high school there was, as I recall, 1 Chinese girl and about 2000 white kids. That was in West Vancouver in the late 60's, early 70's.

My son is at UBC and he said that in science classes are more than 80% Chinese. In Vancouver the population is about 30% Chinese, I believe.

I work at one of those colleges that was legislated into a university. We get a lot of students from the Vancouver area--I guess they are the ones who couldn't get into UBC or SFU. We also have a lot of local students, and a lot of international students from China, India, the Middle East and, increasingly, Africa. The international students pay much higher tuition, so the university actively recruits them. Anything to make a buck. Sometimes I get a bad feeling about it. Particularly the students from the Middle East and Africa often seem to be very poorly prepared for university. I don't know where this is heading.

On a slightly different topic, the other day the dean sent around an email telling us to excuse Saudi students from class on Nov 16th and 17th because of an Islamic holiday. The message had originally come from something called the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau. WTF? I have some problems with this.

1. How are we supposed to know which students are Saudis?
2. What about Muslim students from other countries?
3. What about Sikhs, Wiccans, etc. Do they get to be excused for their holidays too?
4. Since when did we start taking orders from the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau?

I have been wanting to send these questions to the dean, but decided discretion is the better part of valor.

PS. my niece made it into UBC medical school despite the Chinese hordes. My son who is at UBC has decided to teach high school, has finished all the hard science courses and is now taking a one year education program. My other son is in grad school at UofA in Edmonton.

Anonymous said...

Check out the "Engrish":

http://www.cracked.com/article_18603_the-6-worst-parts-being-chinese-not-in-stereotypes_p2.html

Escapist@gmx.com said...

Re Asians at the far right of the IQ curve being more socially adept than Caucasian males at the far right of the IQ curve:

That's been my observation as well.

Re "grinding", some youngish people from parts of East Asia (e.g. China) still have a memory of being hungry in their childhoods. Being a "grind" is probably related to IQ/future time orientation, but also to a real memory of economic insecurity.

Escapist said...

Regarding the meme that Asia suffers from having too small a % of very-high IQ people/creative people compared to the West:

Given that their population is much larger, perhaps all they need is a critical mass, i.e. sufficient absolute quantity of such very high IQ people, in combination with a large number of reasonably-high IQ (e.g. 105-110) people for manufacturing/support roles.

Anonymous said...

Hong Kong is a lot more crowded than Canada, which hurts the standard of living. Also, Europeans are less conformist and more willing to do their own thing, which leads to more innovation and entrapranuership. Hence the higher standard of living in Canada.

Chinese and other Asians do work hard, but their intellectual capabilities are the same as the rest of the population. High IQ Canadians do fine. It's the lower IQ and slacker kids that get hit hard by the Chinese students.

By the way, how do Indians do in BC?

Anonymous said...

anonymous wrote:
By the way, how do Indians do in BC?

I assume you mean from India, as opposed to aboriginal Canadians. Most of the Indo-Canadians in B.C. are Sikhs. I'm not entirely sure, since no such data would ever be released by governments, but I'd guess the Indian kids probably do about as well as the white kids, but neither the whites nor Indians do as well as the Chinese, academically, on average.

I'd say the Indian kids are slightly more likely to get involved in gangs than whites, but not anywhere close to the same extent as, say, black kids in Toronto. The Indians tend to be very entrepreneurial and certainly don't form an underclass they way blacks do in Toronto. There are very few blacks in B.C., and not many Muslims. Maybe the large number or Sikhs and Chinese discourage Muslims and blacks from coming to B.C. If so, I hope this keeps up.

Anonymous said...

Question to those in the "hard" sciences or fields like engineering, where crazy ideologies haven't completely distorted the standards (as has happened in the social sciences and humanities).

How much of a difference is there in the quality of undergraduate education received in your field depending on what college a kid goes to? That is, assume two kids with the same talent, intelligence and drive, one with Westchester parents who get him into Harvard Physics, another from suburban Indianapolis who goes to a good state school. Will the Harvard kid get a better physics education? (I would assume so). If so, how much better?

Remember, these are two undergraduates, assumed to be of equally high intelligence and drive (in learning physics, if not in the kind of "leadership" extracurriculars Harvard prizes).

And I'm interested specifically in how much better the actual physics education is, not how much better the kid's c.v. will look, or how much better his contacts will be.

Anonymous said...

Me again – niece at U.B.C. I do not know if U.B.C. admits with one institution-wide grade or if Faculties choose their own. Thus niece who was rejected may? have been accepted by a different Faculty. Regardless, you support that Vancouver/U.B.C. has a large Oriental presence. In simple terms, ignoring all the age etc. variables, U.B.C. appears to have about two and a half/three times the ratio of the Vancouver area population – if the population is 25-30%, two and a half/three times is 72%. So does that vague ratio hold in the States e.g. Univ. of California campuses? As for East Indians, they have done what Black Americans have said is impossible. Both groups, and Hispanics, have IQ’s of about 85. East Indians, much as I dislike them, are very successful, often at a near-monopoly level, in work that can be performed with that IQ. For example, there are 3 construction sites on our street now. Two are 100% East Indian – the only white presence is an occasional delivery e.g. concrete. The third is often East Indian sub-trades. The higher end of the Bell Curve is handled within the community – one guy gets his Journeyman ticket, employs a crew of lackeys to run cable/pipe, Journeyman signs off on the inspection. Blacks have told us for decades that this is impossible – discrimination, poverty, language skills, etc. East Indians have proven them wrong. As for academic post-secondary – I have my doubts – very unlikely at that group intellectual level. So what?

John said...

I was always somewhat suspicious of that Gladwell article. When I was in high school in Ontario (not that long after Malcolm's time), everyone knew the top three universities were Queen's, Western, and U. of T. And in his article Malcolm casually applies after dinner one night to... Queen's, Western, and U. of T. Yes, the process is easier, admission is more meritocratic (not "holistic"), and tuition actually affordable. But humans are hierarchical creatures, and we like to rank things, and for him to express shock and amazement that Americans revere the Ivy League I found a little disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

Sounds similar to Finland's education system, i.e. no test scores needed for college admission. Such systems which rely a lot on grades can only exist in countries with low levels of corruption.

Anonymous said...

@Anon wrote - As for East Indians, they have done what Black Americans have said is impossible. Both groups, and Hispanics, have IQ’s of about 85.
--

Second generation Canadian Indians have a college rate of 65% next only to Second generation chinese at 70%

A very large contingent of Indian Canadians is the Jat Sikh caste, who typically graduate High School with a C Average. This is far better than Blacks and Hispanics of whom many dont graduate.

In the Canadian diaspora, no IQ test of Indians have been done, but with a second generation college rate of 65%, very unlikely to have 85IQ

It is very likely that Sikhs have an IQ below White, but more like blue collar whites, around 92IQ

In addition, Indians have a family structure that bans out of wedlock births, and that alone would prevent an Indian underclass forming.
Indians also hire their poor relatives

Anonymous said...

CJ wrote:

“Canadian universities aren't all that great, and I say that as a degree holder from one of them. No Canadian scientist trained in the Canadian university system has ever won a Nobel Prize.”


Which one of the not-that-great Canadian universities rejected your application for admission??

And for your edification, eleven of Canada’s nineteen Nobel Laureates matriculated from Canadian Universities:

Willard S. Boyle - Physics 2009 - Mcgill
Robert Mundell - Economics, 1999 – University of British Columbia
Myron Scholes - Economics, 1997 – McMaster
Bertram N. Brockhouse – Physics, 1994 - University of British Columbia and University of Toronto
Rudolph A. Marcus – Chemistry, 1992 – McGill
Richard E. Taylor – Physics, 1990 – University of Alberta
Henry Taube – Chemistry, 1983 – University of Saskatchewan
David H. Hubel – Physiology or Medicine, 1981 – McGill
Charles B. Huggins - Physiology or Medicine, 1966 – Acadia
Lester B. Pearson – Peace, 1957 – University of Toronto
Frederick G. Banting - Physiology or Medicine, 1923 - University of Toronto
Arthur L Schawlow – Physics, 1981 – PhD – University of Toronto (an American who was raised in Toronto)