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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

October 26, 2005

Written by C.N.

Yale Discriminating Against Chinese Students

Newsday reports that graduate students leaders at Yale University charge that the school routinely discriminates against Chinese students and subjects them to unfair requirements and harsher standards of performance:

“Year after year, Chinese graduate students in engineering face expulsion and are called upon to defend their academic standing,” Cong Huang, president of the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Yale, wrote in a letter to Yale administrators. “We have no hard data, but know for sure that every year someone fights a very trying and high-stakes battle.

“There are no different standards for different groups of students,” he said. . . . Xuemei Han, who works and studies in the ecology and evolutionary biology department, said administrators told her they were stripping her of funding and she must leave the university at the end of the year because she is not in good academic standing. Han said she passed all her exams and requirements.

Han also said a professor told her it would be too much work to advise a Chinese student because of language difficulties. “I believe I’m doing good work,” said Han, whose case is at the center of the complaint. “My department has tried very hard to push me out. It’s extremely unfair and unreasonable.”

At this point, we should understand that these are just allegations. However, if they are true, it would not be the first time that foreign students (particularly from Asian countries) were treated with disdain, as if they were disposable in the eyes of some faculty members.

Apparently, there is still an ingrained belief among professors and university officials that foreign Asian students are more exploitable than your garden-variety American student because they are less likely to fight back against their unequal treatment, in line with the stereotype of Asians being quiet and passive.

Is this what’s happening at Yale? We’ll have to wait and see.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Yale Discriminating Against Chinese Students" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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