The enrollment controversy*

Worries that efforts in the U.S. to limit enrollment of Asian students in top universities may migrate to Canada

When Alexandra and her friend Rachel, both graduates of Toronto’s Havergal College, an all-girls private school, were deciding which university to go to, they didn’t even bother considering the University of Toronto. “The only people from our school who went to U of T were Asian,” explains Alexandra, a second-year student who looks like a girl from an Aritzia billboard. “All the white kids,” she says, “go to Queen’s, Western and McGill.”

Alexandra eventually chose the University of Western Ontario. Her younger brother, now a high school senior deciding where he’d like to go, will head “either east, west or to McGill”—unusual academic options, but in keeping with what he wants from his university experience. “East would suit him because it’s chill, out west he could be a ski bum,” says Alexandra, who explains her little brother wants to study hard, but is also looking for a good time—which rules out U of T, a school with an academic reputation that can be a bit of a killjoy.

Or, as Alexandra puts it—she asked that her real name not be used in this article, and broached the topic of race at universities hesitantly—a “reputation of being Asian.”

Discussing the role that race plays in the self-selecting communities that more and more characterize university campuses makes many people uncomfortable. Still, an “Asian” school has come to mean one that is so academically focused that some students feel they can no longer compete or have fun. Indeed, Rachel, Alexandra and her brother belong to a growing cohort of student that’s eschewing some big-name schools over perceptions that they’re “too Asian.” It’s a term being used in some U.S. academic circles to describe a phenomenon that’s become such a cause for concern to university admissions officers and high school guidance counsellors that several elite universities to the south have faced scandals in recent years over limiting Asian applicants and keeping the numbers of white students artificially high.

Although university administrators here are loath to discuss the issue, students talk about it all the time. “Too Asian” is not about racism, say students like Alexandra: many white students simply believe that competing with Asians—both Asian Canadians and international students—requires a sacrifice of time and freedom they’re not willing to make. They complain that they can’t compete for spots in the best schools and can’t party as much as they’d like (too bad for them, most will say). Asian kids, meanwhile, say they are resented for taking the spots of white kids. “At graduation a Canadian—i.e. ‘white’—mother told me that I’m the reason her son didn’t get a space in university and that all the immigrants in the country are taking up university spots,” says Frankie Mao, a 22-year-old arts student at the University of British Columbia. “I knew it was wrong, being generalized in this category,” says Mao, “but f–k, I worked hard for it.”

That Asian students work harder is a fact born out by hard data. They tend to be strivers, high achievers and single-minded in their approach to university. Stephen Hsu, a physics prof at the University of Oregon who has written about the often subtle forms of discrimination faced by Asian-American university applicants, describes them as doing “disproportionately well—they tend to have high SAT scores, good grades in high school, and a lot of them really want to go to top universities.” In Canada, say Canadian high school guidance counsellors, that means the top-tier post-secondary institutions with international profiles specializing in math, science and business: U of T, UBC and the University of Waterloo. White students, by contrast, are more likely to choose universities and build their school lives around social interaction, athletics and self-actualization—and, yes, alcohol. When the two styles collide, the result is separation rather than integration.

The dilemma is this: Canadian institutions operate as pure meritocracies when it comes to admissions, and admirably so. Privately, however, many in the education community worry that universities risk becoming too skewed one way, changing campus life—a debate that’s been more or less out in the open in the U.S. for years but remains muted here. And that puts Canadian universities in a quandary. If they openly address the issue of race they expose themselves to criticisms that they are profiling and committing an injustice. If they don’t, Canada’s universities, far from the cultural mosaics they’re supposed to be—oases of dialogue, mutual understanding and diversity—risk becoming places of many solitudes, deserts of non-communication. It’s a tough question to have to think about.

*This article was originally titled “‘Too Asian’?” For our response to the controversy it has generated, click here.

Asian-Canadian students are far more likely to talk about and assert their ethnic identities than white students. “I’m Asian,” says 21-year-old Susie Su, a third-year student at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. “I do have traditional Asian parents. I feel the pressure of finding a good job and raising a good family.” That pressure helps shape more than just the way Su handles study and school assignments; it shapes the way she interacts with her colleagues. “If I feel like it’s going to be an event where it’s all white people, I probably wouldn’t want to go,” she says. “There’s a lot of just drinking. It’s not that I don’t like white people. But you tend to hang out with people of the same race.”

Catherine Costigan, a psychology assistant prof at the University of Victoria, says it’s unsurprising that Asian students are segregated from “mainstream” campus life. She cites studies that show Chinese youth are bullied more than their non-Asian peers. As a so-called “model minority,” they are more frequently targeted because of being “too smart” and “teachers’ pets.” To counter peer ostracism and resentment, Costigan says Chinese students reaffirm their ethnicity.

The value of education has been drilled into Asian students by their parents, likely for cultural and socio-economic reasons. “It’s often described that Asians are the new Jews,” says Jon Reider, director of college counselling at San Francisco University High School and a former Stanford University admissions officer. “That in the face of discrimination, what you do is you study. And there’s a long tradition in Chinese culture, for example, going back to Confucius, of social mobility based on merit.”

Demographics contribute to the high degree of academic success among Asian-Canadian students. “Our highly selective immigration process means that we get many highly educated parents, so they have similar aspirations for their children,” says Robert Sweet, a retired Lakehead University education prof who has studied the parenting styles of immigrants as they relate to education. Sweet’s latest study, “Post-high school pathways of immigrant youth,” released last month, found that more than 70 per cent of students in the Toronto District School Board who immigrated from East Asia went on to university, compared to 52 per cent of Europeans, the next highest group, and 12 per cent of Caribbean, the lowest. This is in contrast to English-speaking Toronto students born in Canada—of which just 42 per cent confirmed admission to university.

Diane Bondy, a recently retired Ottawa-area guidance counsellor, notes that by the end of her 20-year career, competition among some Asian parents had reached a fever pitch. “Asian parents do their homework and the students are going to U of T or they’re going to Queen’s,” says Bondy, who points out that “Asians get more support from their parents financially and academically.” She also observed that the focus on academics was often to the exclusion of social interaction. “The kids were getting 98 per cent but they didn’t have other skills,” she says. “Their parents would come in and write in the resumé letters that they were in clubs. But the kids weren’t able to do anything in those clubs because they were academically focused.”

Students can carry that narrow scope into university, where they risk alienating their more fun-loving peers. The division is perhaps most extreme at Waterloo, where students have dubbed the MC and DC buildings—the Mathematics & Computer Building and the William G. Davis Computer Research Centre, respectively—“mainland China” and “downtown China,” and where some students told Maclean’s they can go for days without speaking English. Writes one Waterloo mathematics graduate on an online forum: “I once had a tutorial session for the whole class where the TA got frustrated with speaking English and started giving the answer in Mandarin. A lot of the class understood his answer.”

“My dad said if you don’t go into engineering, I won’t pay your tuition,” says Jason Yin, a Taiwanese software engineering student at Waterloo. “They are very traditional. They believe school is about work, studying, go home and studying some more.” Hard-studying Waterloo lends itself particularly to those goals. “We had a problem getting students out of their bedrooms,” says Nikki Best, a former residence don who sits on Waterloo’s student government, who explains they “didn’t want to get behind in their grades because of coming out to social events.”

That’s not to say Asian students form any sort of monolithic presence on Canadian campuses. “The mainland China group tends to stick together,” says Anthony Wong, 19, a Waterloo software engineering student. “We can talk to them,” says Jonathan Ing, also 19 and in Waterloo’s software engineering program, “but we don’t mingle.” Complains Waterloo student Simon Wang, a Chinese national who is frustrated by the segregation at Waterloo: “Why bother to come to Canada and pay five times as much to speak Chinese?” Meanwhile, Calgarian Joyce Chau identifies as “completely whitewashed,” a “banana”: “I look Asian but I’m white in all other respects.” Chau, a 19-year-old UBC business student, lived in residence her first year, where she met the majority of her (white) friends. “It’s harder to integrate into a group with Asians—you may or may not get introduced,” says Chau, who accepts the segregation as just “part of the university experience.”

Such balkanization is reflected in official student organizations: there is little Asian representation on student government, campus newspapers or college radio stations. At UBC, where the student body is roughly 40 per cent Asian, not one Asian sits on the student executive. Same goes for Waterloo. Asian students do, however, participate in organizations beyond the university mainstream, and long-standing cultural clubs function as a sort of ad hoc government. “After you graduate you won’t care about student government, but you’ll care about your club,” says Stan He, president of the Dragon Seed Connection, an on-campus Chinese club with over 300 members. (His business cards feature both dragon and robot motifs.) The Dragon Seed offers its members social functions, tutoring help, volunteer opportunities, poker and mah-jong tournaments, and special holiday parties—including at Halloween and Christmas. It even has an exclusive partnership with Solid Entertainment, a promotions and events-planning company that sponsors massive fundraising events and gives Dragon Seed exclusive selling rights on campus. He says that the dozen or so Asian clubs at UBC serve well over 4,000 students and cater to the whole spectrum of cultural identification—from “whitewashed” to “Honger,” a once-pejorative term now adopted by students with Hong Kong backgrounds. The Dragon Seed lies somewhere in between—“We’re the middle ground,” He says. “We have international students, but we all speak English.”

Or take the Chinese Varsity Club. With upwards of 500 members, it’s the largest student social club at UBC. The executives say they’ve captured a niche market: Chinese commuter students from the outlying Richmond, Burnaby and North Vancouver communities who hope to find a social network at the big school. “Students from high school already hear about us from older brothers and sisters,” says Peter Yang, the 21-year-old accounting student who is the club’s VP external. “You want to break out of the cycle of studying and being lonely,” says Brian Cheung, its president.

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.

In his 2009 book No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, Princeton University sociologist Thomas Espenshade surveyed 10 elite U.S. universities and found that Asian applicants needed an extra 140 points on their SAT scores to be on equal footing with white applicants. Scandals over such unfair admissions practices have surfaced in recent years at Stanford, Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley and elsewhere. Hsu, the Oregon physicist, draws a comparison between Asian-Americans and Jewish students who began arriving at the Ivy League in the first half of the last century. “You can find well-documented internal discussions at places like Harvard and Yale and Princeton about why we shouldn’t admit these people, they’re working so hard and they’re so obviously ambitious, but we want to keep our WASP pedigree here.”

To quell the influx of Jewish students, Ivy League schools abandoned their meritocratic admissions processes in favour of one that focused on the details of an applicant’s private life—questions about race, religion, even about the maiden name of an applicant’s mother. Schools also began looking at such intangibles as character, personality and leadership potential. Canadian universities, apart from highly competitive professional programs and faculties, don’t quiz applicants the same way, and rely entirely on transcripts. Likely that is a good thing. And yet, that meritocratic process results, especially in Canada’s elite university programs, in a concentration of Asian students.

The upshot is that race is defining Canadian university campuses in a way it did not 25 years ago. Diversity has enriched these schools, but it has also put them at risk of being increasingly fractured along ethnic lines. It’s a superficial form of multiculturalism that is expressed in the main through segregated, self-selecting, discrete communities. It would behoove the leadership of our universities to recognize these issues and take them seriously. And yet, that’s exactly what’s not happening. Indeed, discussions with Canada’s top university presidents reveal for the most part that they are in a state of denial.

“This is a non-issue,” wrote U of T president David Naylor in an email. “We’ve never had a student complain about this. In fact, this is a false stereotype, as we know that Asian students are fully engaged in extracurricular activities. So the whole concept is false.”

As Cheryl Misak, the U of T’s VP and provost, puts it: “We have a properly diverse mix, with no particular group extra prominent—we’re the rainbow nation and we’ve got every sort of student and everyone is on merit.” Waterloo president Feridun Hamdullahpur echoes a similar sentiment. “There is a great tendency in our society to learn more about other nations and other cultures,” he says. “Universities are the hotbed of these kind of activities. If you want to see more economic and political diversity, I think they star.”

These positions arguably represent a missed opportunity. Universities have the potential of establishing real cultural change. It makes sense that the head of the Canadian university with perhaps the highest number of Asian students is the most candid and the most concerned. Indeed, Stephen Toope has, since his arrival in 2006 as UBC president, made the issue central to his agenda—including outreach and newspaper op-ed pieces touting the importance of making the university campus a meeting place not only of diversity but also of dialogue.

Among Canadian universities, UBC is one of the few institutions that publishes the ethnic makeup of its student body. Toope says that the university’s Asian student population is not “widely out of whack with the community,” although the stats tell a slightly different story. According to a 2009 UBC report on direct undergraduate entrants, 43 per cent of its students self-identify as ethnically Chinese, Korean or Japanese, as compared to 38 per cent who self-identify as white. Although Vancouver is a richly diverse city, according to data from the 2006 census, just 21.5 per cent of its residents identify as a Chinese, Korean or Japanese visible minority.

Toope says drawing the various communities present on Canadian campuses into a common medium can be challenging. “Across Canada it isn’t always the case that you’re seeing as much engagement from the new communities as perhaps we should,” he says. Toope uses the experience of Turkish immigrants in Germany as a cautionary tale—“there are groups that never find a way to participate in the broader community.” Such circumstances persist precisely because the issue of race is not attacked head on. “I don’t want to pretend that just because you have people from different backgrounds they’re going to interact—they’re not,” Toope says. “We have to actually create mechanisms, programs and opportunities for people to interact. A university is one of the places that has the greatest capacity to work through demographic change.”

Toope points us in the right direction. It’s unfair to change the meritocratic entry system, so all universities can do—all they should do—is encourage groups to mingle. Though it’s true that universities—U of T and Waterloo included—do have diversity programs and policies for students, newer, fresher ways are needed to help pry the ethnic ghettos open so everyone hangs out together. Or at least they have the chance to. The white kids may not find it’s too Asian after all. Alexandra, who chose to go to Western for the party scene, found she “hated being away from home” and moved back to Toronto. In retrospect, she didn’t like the vibe. “Some people just want to drink 23 hours a day.” Alexandra says she still has friends at Western who live in an “all-blond house” and are “stick thin.” Rachel, Alexandra’s friend, says Western suits them—“they work hard, get good grades, then slap on their clubbing clothes.” But it didn’t suit Alexandra. She now studies at U of T.




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The enrollment controversy*

  1. perhaps, as this article suggests, Macleans isn’t nearly Asian enough.
    Always lovely to see a handful of ‘specifically chosen’ people speak for their community…” oh look, there is a ditzy looking white girl, lets use her to represent an entire community”. likewise, ‘Asian’ is a blanket term… very very poor journalism and frankly, par for the course.

  2. Kevin is wrong. Not only macleans, Many studies in the past confirm that Asian students are very well in their studies.Asians are good in work , they are hard working guys. They are hard working people. They dont carry coffee cups and roam around.As pointed in the article, Parents support their kids even after their sudies and Kids support thier parents in their old age,.This is why they are doing well.

  3. Of course it is expected, as soon as someone writes about race, that the article is racial biased. Come on, this has nothing to do with race or racism but cultural diversity. We should be able to discuss these issues freely without fear of being labelled as racist or bigot. Seems like someone here has a problem with ditzy white girls….

  4. The concern should not be that there are too many students of East Asian descent on Canadian campuses but why do so many students, born and raised in Canada, decide not to study further. I went through the public school system and am now studying engineering at the University of Toronto. Most of the students at my high school didn’t have any academic interests. It would be better to revamp our school system to reflect the fact that most students do not learn by listening to a teach speak.

  5. Holy racism batman! As a u of T grad in humanities, who lived on campus and was involved in campus life, I can honestly say this article basically picked something controversial and an issue in America and decided its an issue in canada as well. even if everything they said is true, EVEN IF, so F*cking what????? isn’t education based on merit the whole point in canada? Who cares if one group or another happens to culturally (bc really, cultural practices have NOTHING to do with genetic race and heritage) put more emphasis on school than another? even so, correlating racial make-up and assuming grades based on it is ridiculous. I knew kids of all backgrounds getting all ranges of marks. why? because of how much work they put in and how smart they were. (sorry but, poor little white kids, being lazy and wanting to party all the time and ya, they can make small talk just fine but can’t write an essay for sh*t) according to this, it seems to imply that macleans is suggesting letting students who are white have an easier time getting into university. Because once upon a time canada was mostly white, they think we should forcibly keep it that way? what a joke. What difference does race make anyway? and if culture does make a difference, then that’s the problem of the individual, not the school. Admission should be blind. And maybe the writer of this article should have actually asked kids at the schools about the social make-up. I had and have friends of all backgrounds and all sorts of interests and activities. And you know what? there aren’t racial lines in personalities, there are types of personalities.

  6. Recipe for a juicy story:
    1) Make up a crisis
    2) Email the people in charge about it.
    3) When they say there is no crisis, write that they are “in denial” and “missing an opportunity”.
    4) Publish in Maclean’s.

    Where to begin with all the journalistic malfeasance in this one article?

  7. This is a pretty horribly written argument, even if it is written with good intentions. I agree with KJ that the authors found something that was a problem in the US and are trying desperately to find the same problem in Canada – despite the fact that the Canadian universities’ administration deny the utility of this “too many asian” concept.

    In order to illustrate the problem, they create an Asian stereotype – one who works hard and doesn’t like “social interaction”. Of course by social interaction, they have something very specific and limited in mind. They try to make their case in a number of ways. They suggest it has something to do with Chinese culture – namely Confucius – but they also say it has to do with their highly educated parents. Of course they don’t bother seeing if either of these generalizations stand by interviewing Chinese with low-educated parents or Chinese who identify in different degrees with Chinese culture. In general, their argument is very unclear. Are they asking why Chinese students do so well? Why Chinese people don’t like certain kinds of social interaction or like to stay with those they are most familiar with?

    I think that, even though the article is probably written with good intentions, the authors just don’t know what they are asking and what they are talking about. Pointing out that Chinese student are segregated, yet successful, and then suggesting that more needs to be done to get them to intermingle and have “more fun” just seems like a pretty ridiculous.

  8. talk about exaggeration!

    maclean is slowly becoming a tabloid

    yea all asians are hard working nerd and white people don’t study hard.

    what’s with all the stereotypes Macleans?

  9. KJ… this is not racist at all. And the next time you want to be taken seriously, don’t type like a two year old.

  10. a new low for Maclean’s

    good job! you’re slowly becoming irrelevant and a waste of time to read

  11. if you currently dont attend any university its unlikely you can relate to this article. if you do currently attend a university, please look around the class room and see the segregation.

  12. Thank you for perpetuating a stereotype for all Asian and all white students. Please make us feel more like we have to conform to society’s view of how we are suppose to be.

    With this article, you are only aggravating superficial and ignorant views that one group of people who works harder should be ostracized and looked down upon.

    The Canadian school system values hard work and merit regardless of race, religion and socio-economic background. People are free to be who they are, and free to choose who they associate with.

    If the Maclean’s writers had actually visited the university campuses and talked to more than the select few students, they would see that students are do not share their bigotry and few are forced to conform to stereotypes that they don’t believe in.

  13. For the record (this is the second time, since my first comment was deleted by Maclean’s), my quote was taken out of context.

    I was referring to students who were in demanding programs who lived in suite/apartment style residences in which I was a don (or RA for some of you). I was not in any way referring to just “Asians”. I hope that no one thinks I was actually referring to a certain demographic of students in that quote – because that is false.

    It’s disappointing that an interview that lasted well over an hour only had this one quote come out of it. There is no mention of the exceptional experiences at Waterloo I discussed, along with the 200 clubs, services, societies, committees, commissions, and other leadership opportunities we have on campus (for all students). There was no mention of the ongoing commitment to diversity on this campus through new committees and services, nor was there mention that Waterloo gives many students opportunities they wouldn’t find elsewhere.

    I am so proud of Waterloo and all the students here, and this article does nothing to reflect that sentiment. If any of you have any questions on the great things Waterloo has to offer, you can reach me at vpin@feds.ca.

  14. for an entirely different and equally valid reason, i’ve avoided certain US schools — too black

  15. It will be interesting to see how Macleans will address the existing and future complaints of this article.

    Though the damage is done and cannot be undone.

    They can apologize as much as they want, and they can discipline the authors of this article, but the point is that this article has already left a mark with its readers.

    Anyone with moderate critical thinking skills can see that.

    The power of the media.

    I don’t see any point in this article other than to emphasize on stereotypes of a culture (I refuse to use the word “race” and further the inference that certain stereotypical behaviours are biological).

  16. The China Boom

    By Dan Levin – The New York Times

    IN her ballroom dance class, Li Wanrong has learned to tango and cha-cha. At lunch one day, she tried a strange mix of flavors — pepperoni pizza, the spicy sausage and oozing cheese nearly burning her tongue. Then there was that Friday night before going clubbing for the first time when new friends gave her a makeover, and she looked in the mirror to see an American girl smiling back wearing a little black dress, red lipstick and fierce eyeliner.

    “I say ‘wow’ a lot,” says Ms. Li, a freshman at Drew University, a small liberal arts school in Madison, N.J.

    Against her parents’ wishes, she studied for and took the SAT in Hong Kong, a three-hour bus ride from her home in southern China. She told them she was going there to do some shopping. Her parents eventually came around, persuaded by her determination and a $12,000 scholarship that would take some of the sting out of the $40,000 tuition at Drew, which her high school teacher had recommended.

    Describing her whirlwind transformation to college kid sometimes leaves Ms. Li at a loss for words. And sometimes the cultural distance seems too much, especially when facing dining options in the cafeteria. “Sometimes I feel when I go back to China I’ll never eat a hamburger ever again,” she says, laughing.

    Ms. Li is part of a record wave of Chinese high school graduates enrolling in American colleges, joining the fabric of campus life as roommates and study partners and contributing to the global perspectives to which colleges are so eager to expose their students.

    “China is going to matter greatly to all students in the 21st century,” says Robert Weisbuch, president of Drew, which has increased its international enrollment by 60 percent in the last five years. “We feel it is important to provide the opportunity for American and Chinese students to learn from one another.”

    While China’s students have long filled American graduate schools, its undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. In 2008-9, more than 26,000 were studying in the United States, up from about 8,000 eight years earlier, according to the Institute of International Education.

    Students are ending up not just at nationally known universities, but also at regional colleges, state schools and even community colleges that recruit overseas. Most of these students pay full freight (international students are not eligible for government financial aid) — a benefit for campuses where the economic downturn has gutted endowments or state financing.

    The boom parallels China’s emergence as the world’s largest economy after the United States. China is home to a growing number of middle-class parents who have saved for years to get their only child into a top school, hoping for an advantage in a competitive job market made more so by a surge in college graduates. Since the 1990s, China has doubled its number of higher education institutions. More than 60 percent of high school graduates now attend a university, up from 20 percent in the 1980s. But this surge has left millions of diploma-wielding young people unable to find white-collar work in a country still heavily reliant on low-paying manufacturing.

    “The Chinese are going to invest in anything that gives them an edge, and having a U.S. degree certainly gives them that edge back home,” says Peggy Blumenthal, a vice president at the Institute of International Education. American colleges offer the chance to gain fluency in English, develop real-world skills, and land a coveted position with a multinational corporation or government agency.

    Ding Yinghan grew up in a modest apartment with his mother, a marketing executive, and his father, a civil servant in Beijing’s work safety administration whose own mother is illiterate. A child of the “new China,” he is fully aware that his generation has opportunities unavailable to any before.

    His parents pushed him to study hard — and study abroad — because they have little faith in the Chinese education system. Sipping tea in their living room one sweltering August afternoon, Mr. Ding’s mother, Meng Suyan, reflects on the Chinese classroom. “In the U.S. they focus on creative-thinking skills, while in China they only focus on theory,” she says. “So what university students learn here doesn’t prepare them for the real world.”

    Says Mr. Ding: “Chinese values require me to be a good listener, and Western values require me to be a good speaker.”

    A bespectacled whiz kid, Mr. Ding was accepted early admission to Hamilton College in upstate New York following a yearlong exchange program at a North Carolina public high school. Now a junior, he is on a full scholarship, No. 1 in his class and spending this year at Dartmouth on a dual-degree engineering program. He also founded the bridge club at Hamilton, ran the Ping-Pong team, wrote for the student newspaper and tutored in chemistry, physics and economics for $8.50 an hour.

    His first tutoring job was freshman year, when his advanced calculus professor asked him to help classmates struggling with the material. Over textbooks and calculators, Mr. Ding used the opportunity to practice his English and find commonalities with people who had never met someone from China.

    At Hamilton, he is surrounded by wealth — some students, he says, fly to Manhattan on weekends in helicopters, party with Champagne instead of beer, and smoke $100 cigars. It’s a new experience for a man who gets his hair cut a few times a year because the $15 is a lot of money for his parents, who fret that they cannot afford to provide him with health insurance in the United States. But sending their child to live across the world is a worthy sacrifice, says his father, Ding Dapeng. “In China 25 years ago it was rare to even go to university, so for Yinghan to study in the U.S. is a real miracle.”

    “Today the world is so small,” he says. “Only by broadening his knowledge with an international background can Yinghan really become a global citizen.”

    THE cultural exchange perhaps manifests itself most in the intimacy of the shared dorm room.

    When Mariapaola La Barbera learned last summer that her roommate at Drew would come from China, her mother was thrilled. “She said, ‘They’re smart people, so you’ll learn from her and be focused.’ ”

    She shares a room with Li Wanrong. The two have tacked funky tie-dye tapestries and a poster of the Eiffel Tower to the walls; Ms. Li is planning to study Spanish while perfecting her English, and has taped the words “hola” and “muy bien” next to her laptop.

    “Wanrong is very brave,” Ms. La Barbera says. “I give her a lot of credit for moving across the world and being so focused.” Still, Ms. La Barbera, who knew no one from China, says: “It’s different. I’m not going to lie.”

    They have different groups of friends but are friendly. The roommates have taught each other words in Mandarin and Italian, discussed the political differences between the United States and China, and had impromptu lessons on American slang.

    Ms. Li’s teachers in China had told her that American parents kick their children out of the house when they turn 18. Ms. La Barbera, who goes home to Staten Island every weekend, has corrected this misconception.

    “She’s like a window,” Ms. Li says. “I can watch her and see what Americans are like.”

    As a freshman at Central Michigan University, Qi Fan realized that even Americans come from different cultures. His roommates — one black, one white — spoke to him in different accents and had social circles that largely matched their own skin color. Sometimes they would grab him out of bed and drag him to parties where beer pong was played all night.

    Mr. Qi had learned of Central Michigan from a Chinese friend who went there, and it was talked up by a company in China that recruits students. Originally he had considered Britain or Germany, but his parents decided there was little point in paying for college in “second-tier” countries, and they would send him to the United States “no matter what, because it’s the super power.”


    But the American myth faded once he settled in. He disliked a campus culture that “was all about drinking,” and wanted a high-profile school closer to New York’s finance world. In his sophomore year, Mr. Qi transferred to the University at Albany, of the State University of New York. He says he is happy there, makes trips to New York City in the car he just bought, and avoids any drinking culture by living with other Chinese off campus.

    Partying is an American college rite of passage, but socializing in China is usually conducted around the table, where close friends cook, eat and play games together. The fun in standing around a dark room filled with strangers, speakers blaring, is often lost in translation.

    Frances Liu, a Yale sophomore from the bustling city of Tianjin, remembers one night freshman year when friends started smoking marijuana. And then offered her the joint. “They were like, ‘Frances, come on,’ ” she says, rolling her eyes. She declined, but the pressure to fit in meant plenty of late nights. “I don’t want to be in a bar drunk and grinding with someone I’ve never met and will never see again,” Ms. Liu says. “I’ve tried that. I went to parties every single weekend freshman year and realized it’s not for me.”

    Ms. Liu found refuge in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the towering cube of translucent marble at Yale that holds thousands of the world’s most precious written originals. Last summer she worked there as a page, bringing requested items to researchers. But more satisfying than the $12 an hour was discovering treasures like the original manuscript of Edith Wharton’s “Age of Innocence” in the stacks and leafing through illuminated parchment from the ninth century. The experience has given her a deep appreciation for the West’s values of transparency and access to information. “In China, I’m used to secrecy, so being 18 and able to touch history with my bare fingers really impressed me,” she says.

    After a year, Ms. Liu believes she is less of the quiet-Asian-nerd stereotype that she had felt followed her through Yale’s Gothic hallways. Now she wears makeup, raises her hand in class, and has a different perspective than her friends in China, according to whom “I’m contaminated by American culture and not Chinese anymore.”

    That harsh assessment is heard by many Chinese undergraduates, which they say is hard to ignore. It was in a freshman literature seminar class at Yale called “Experiences of Being Foreign” that Xu Luyi began to tackle the “pulling force westernizing me rapidly and driving me away from my own background.”

    “Somehow I was stuck in this middle zone and unable to identify with either side,” says Ms. Xu, a sophomore from Shanghai. She was the only international student in the class. Rather than ignore her “otherness,” she dived into the course’s exploration of identity construction and confusion, and embraced the assigned readings, by immigrants and exiles. For an assignment that required that students go somewhere that would make them feel foreign, she went to Bible study.

    Where she ended up feeling most at home was in her dorm. The women in her hall would meet for tea and cookies every few weeks to discuss college life and address girl “drama.” This “women’s table,” Ms. Liu says, “was a great bonding experience and also a good chance to meditate on our experiences.”

    Perhaps most unsettling to Chinese students is the robust activist culture on campus, where young Americans find their voices on issues like war, civil rights and immigration. In China, protests are illegal and vocal dissent forbidden, and on sensitive topics like Tibet and Taiwan a majority are in lockstep with their government. It can be especially painful hearing Westerners condemn China after growing up steeped in propaganda blaming the West for the suffering before Communism.

    Shen Xinchao, a Rutgers junior from Shanghai, chose to attend college in the United States because “here you can argue with professors, which is not encouraged in China,” and choose a major rather than test into one. “In China, your path is almost set when you get into college on the first day,” he says.

    But American college life presented obstacles. As a freshman, he found his campus lonely and alienating. First, he spent a semester living in a dorm lounge because Rutgers had run out of rooms for freshmen. Then he was paired with a roommate who challenged him over his homeland’s human rights record. “He thought China was just a very tyrannical Communist country that has no freedom, and that is not what life is really like there,” says Mr. Shen, who has moved off campus to live with Chinese friends. “Americans are friendly, but I just can’t establish a deep relationship because our cultural differences are too deep.”

    Some Chinese students have turned activist themselves to rebut criticism of homeland policies. Following China’s crackdown on Tibet before the Beijing Olympics in summer 2008, furious groups of Chinese students confronted protesters who were trying to disrupt the torch relay in the United States. And on rare occasions, Chinese students have harassed pro-Tibet activists on campus, and sought to dissuade universities from inviting the Dalai Lama to speak on their campus.

    But for the most part, raised on only whispers about the student troublemakers at Tiananmen Square, Chinese students steer clear of sit-ins, demonstrations and petitions.

    “In China, we definitely don’t see people marching in the streets, so it’s a bit disturbing to see the masses rallying,” says Li Yidan, a freshman at Yale, wearing a preppy white sweater at an off-campus cafe. “People did that in 1989, and it ended in bloodshed.”

    TO help students make the cultural leap — as well as to internationalize their institutions — colleges and universities are building programs that begin in China and end, hopefully, on an American campus.

    Teachers College of Columbia University has started a program for high school seniors (in China, much of the last year is spent reviewing for a college entrance exam, though curriculum varies). This year, the program’s first, 28 students spent six months at the University of International Relations in Beijing; 19 were found qualified to finish off the year at Columbia. The program preps students to apply as freshmen, with a focus on English instruction, cultural immersion and counseling, including study for the Test of English as a Foreign Language and SAT, and a tour of campuses in the Northeast. (Total cost: about $45,000, including room and board.)

    Another new program, U.S.-Sino Pathway, aims to transition high school students into one of six participating colleges. Northeastern University devised the curriculum, a year of for-credit courses taken at Kaplan Inc. branches in China and at a summer bridge session at Northeastern’s Boston campus or the University of Vermont. Kaplan handles administration, English-language instruction in China and recruitment of students. (Total cost: about $26,000 to $28,000, including room and board in the United States.)

    Collaborations with for-profit education companies are beginning to gain traction as American institutions seek to tap their in-country resources. Kaplan has branches in eight Chinese cities; INTO University Partnerships, a British company with roots in China, similarly works with the University of South Florida and Oregon State. Kaplan, which has been criticized for overly aggressive recruiting in the United States, says it does not use a commission model or work with “agents” in China. Many Chinese hire agents to navigate the American admissions and visa maze. The industry has mushroomed, as has its reputation for unscrupulousness, like falsifying transcripts and making bloated promises.

    The goal of U.S.-Sino Pathway, says Philomena Mantella, senior vice president for enrollment management at Northeastern, is to help Chinese families make informed choices and to increase readiness for the American experience. “Finally,” she says, “we saw this through a global competitive lens. British and Australian institutions were ahead of us, and we saw an opportunity to offer a strong pathway to American universities.”

    Students who complete the program’s China portion apply as sophomore transfers to a consortium college — the others are Baylor University, Marist College, Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Utah. Of the 171 students who started in China, 138 were ultimately accepted into a degree program. Nine of those who didn’t meet standards chose to work on their English in another Northeastern program, American Classroom, at its adult-education college on campus (a dozen of the successful matriculants ended up in its degree programs as well).

    The University of Vermont joined the consortium to increase its international population, which was less than 1 percent of its undergraduates.

    During Vermont’s first bridge session, last summer, 29 new Chinese undergraduates absorbed American culture by hanging out with a crowd of aging hippies at a reggae concert. They went to the Ben & Jerry’s factory and met with the co-founder Jerry Greenfield to discuss entrepreneurship and social justice. They also got face time with elected officials, including Vermont’s governor and Burlington’s mayor, for a lesson on democracy. Among course electives: “History of Rock & Roll,” for a hearing of Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and the Doors.

    Yuan Xiecheng, who grew up amid the neon-lit skyscrapers and karaoke emporiums of Shanghai, was eager to study abroad. He had planned to go to a Canadian university until he attended a presentation by the chief executive officer of Kaplan China, Zhou Yong. When Mr. Zhou announced that students would not have to take the SAT or TOEFL or attend the final year of high school, Mr. Yuan leaped at the opportunity. He attended an international high school, and says he was 20 course credits short of graduation. Instead, he took the final exam given to secure a Chinese diploma, and enrolled in the pathway program. He is now a sophomore at Vermont.

    Zhao Siwei took the same route. “This program is super easy to enter, and it was really easy to come here to the U.S.,” says Ms. Zhao, who hopes to major in film and TV at Vermont. “I love it here,” she concludes. She expresses amazement, though, at her program peers’ English: “They can’t talk. They can’t communicate with American people.”

    Language is one of Chinese students’ biggest challenges. Mr. Yuan wishes he had had more exposure to the vernacular. His for-credit classes at Kaplan included calculus, chemistry and American studies, taught by instructors approved by Northeastern. But only half were Westerners, he says, and none American. His teachers in grammar, reading and listening comprehension were Chinese, he says, and “some of their English was not good enough.”

    Once in Vermont, Mr. Yuan worried when people smiled and asked “What’s up?” “It was really awkward,” he says, “because I wouldn’t know how to respond and while I was thinking of an answer they would just walk away.”

    Still, his English is strong enough that he joined the debate team, with its fast-clip speech and thinking. At weekly meetings he has argued about indigenous land rights and vote buying. Presenting an opinion in under seven minutes, as he did at his first competition, at Binghamton University, has helped him write college papers succinctly, he says, and question the world around him. “It’s about challenging the status quo and thinking of better solutions in a way I never thought about in China.”

    ZHOU KEHUI had an unusual adjustment to Brigham Young University. Growing up in officially atheist China, she knew little about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with which the university is affiliated. Mormonism is not a state-sanctioned religion, and proselytizing by its members is illegal.

    Ms. Zhou chose Brigham Young on the recommendation of a friend of her father’s, who had gone there. Its business school also ranks highly. Her parents thought the university’s honor code, with its rules of conduct, would keep her safe and focused. Initially, however, the curfew and code, which includes a ban on short skirts and drinking tea, left her shellshocked.

    “It was really hard for me to accept the rules in the beginning,” says Ms. Zhou, a junior majoring in accounting. “I mean, where I’m from, in Fujian province, drinking tea every day is what we do.”

    But few American universities offer the comfort zone she found here. Though there are only 77 Chinese undergraduates at Brigham Young, with so many Mormons doing their two years of missionary work in Taiwan and Hong Kong, finding someone fluent in her language was easy. “A lot of times I’d be walking on campus when some white dude would just come up to me and start speaking Chinese,” Ms. Zhou says. That warmth and common experience ­— not to mention several meetings with church missionaries — went a long way toward convincing her B.Y.U. was the right match.

    A few months after arriving, Ms. Zhou was baptized, which, she says, provided a support network. That Mormonism is considered subversive at home, or that her parents were unhappy with her conversion, gave her little pause. After all, she says, saving her soul was as logical as deciding to go to college in the United States. “It wasn’t a hard choice to make,” she says. “It’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/education/07china-t.html?scp=1&st=cse

  17. The way I see it is that it’s not like Alexandra didn’t want to attend University of Toronto because of Asians, but because of Asian-stereotyped Asians. I mean, when I look around myself, these stereotypes do exist. Yes, a handful of them knows to balance academia and fun but most of them dedicate their days into studying for university and trying to achieve a certain GPA so they will get into _________. These people who waste their youth trying to become something that they believe will bring them financial and personal ‘salvation’ (because it is what their parents told them) tend to be very boring and pitiful when they retire and remark that they actually wanted to become something different. I don’t know about you guys but I wouldn’t like exchanging my fun and awesome university life to become an engineer for the rest of my life. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, I said fuck it and I am now in architecture.
    Asian parents should really chill and let their kids do what they are passionate about. Encourage them to socialize and learn about people. Expose them to art, music, sports, literature, everything. All these things expand your world and it makes this cruel globe a little more bearable. Knowledge and academia IS important, its what brought us to this world thus far. But man, Asian parents are often psychotic control freaks. I remember when I was 13, my only alternative, suggested by my parents, to being a doctor was either: engineer, lawyer or a homeless person. At least, my parents were open-minded enough for me to date non-asians and for me go to parties.
    It seems now that they are much happier seeing me enjoying and passionately studying about my frield.
    To quote from some internet dude: “When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me that I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

  18. Dear Kaz, congrats on reinforcing the cultural incompetence that McLeans’ manufactured; you offered an insightful and revealing personal narrative – revealing that the road to happiness is just a keg-stand away.

    I don’t know that anyone should be too upset by such a poorly constructed argument, written by an individual who clearly spends way too much time in Aritzia and not enough time on Canadian University campuses.

    I am embarrassed by McLean’s and the opportunity it has afforded readers to reflect on how much smarter Asian students really are and that our non-Asian students need watch their lazy, non-academic backs.

  19. Its all about opportunity cost really. If you look at it rationally. What white Canadian parents are doing is investing in EQ as well as IQ. EQ is cultural. A Canadian EQ is going to be almost useless in China/Africa. Hockey practice, ballet lessons are expensive and involve an opportunity cost (ie less time studying). The Asian immigrant parent, knowing he has not got a chance in hell of imparting significant Canadian EQ tells their children to pursue careers that require minimum EQ.

    As for those Asian parents. What’s the point of immigrating to the West if you are going inflict the same Peking duck style education methods on your offspring. Would it not be cheaper for a company just to hire an Indian/Chinese guy to do it in India/China for 1/5 the price.

    The irony is that globalization is making both strategies risky. I want to do what I like ie become graphic artist, journalist. Why do I have to pay someone $30-40K a year when some in India is going to do for a lot less. The world awash with blogs etc. Become a programmer, engineer, lawyer and accountant. Unless you are really good its still a lot cheaper to outsource it.

    What the world need is more creativity, especially Canada. Force feeding information is not going to do it. Secondary education in Western countries is only marginally better at fostering creativity than school systems in Asia. Nor is being social gadfly going to win you the next Noble Prize in Chemistry.

  20. Okay, I call BS on this whole phenomenon.

    The article makes it seem like there is a legit reason to go to university, other than education and a career. Social, character building, whatever. I’ll have plenty of time for ultimate frisbee and alcohol poisoning when I actually have a stable job. Those college “experiences” are obsolete in modern economic times. The people who are aware of this, act accordingly.

    Offtopic, but I’m American-born Chinese and I can drink most white people under the table when I choose to. Is that well rounded enough for you? Who’s with me?

  21. Why is Maclean’s one of Canada’s top magazines again?

  22. Maclean’s seems to have a problem with UofT in general. Their methodology on University rankings is consistently flawed anyway.

    This is just poor journalism. For students who do not want a top education at UofT because its “too Asian”, well tough. It’s their loss.

  23. I think it’s pretty crass to automatically assume, because someone is getting good grades, that they have no life outside studying. Or is that just automatically assumed because they’re not white?

    This article is just a big whine about how the East Asians are kicking ass. It does make for some interesting demographics and distribution of wealth a few years down the road. But rather than focus on the fact why there are so many East Asians succeeding, maybe someone should ask why a lot of other races are lagging. Success isn’t a bad thing folks, even when it happens to people with a different skin color than yours.

  24. This “Oh, there’s too many of that group” sort of thing sounds like it is out of the 1930′s.

    Or to be less polite about it, it sounds slightly racist.

    Maclean’s seems to have decided the best way to sell magazines is to be as sensational as possible.

    I certainly won’t be reading it.

  25. Why is Canada so racist?

  26. i think the headline should not have been “canada’s universitis too asian?” but rather “havergal college too racist?”

  27. “Why is Canada so racist?”

    You have not seen real racism, have you? Newfoundland and most of the Maritimes are among the least racist places on earth and I speak as a minority. Here in the US when you implement affirmative action for blacks or Spanish speakers, white people complain saying that meritocracy is the best. However, when the Asians beat out the whites and get an university slot, they complain saying grades and meritocracy should not be the only criteria for admission. Which brings me to one conclusion, most white Americans want their white privilege and think that they should be preferred no matter what.

    Glad to know from the response to the McLeans article, that most Canadians, white or otherwise dont think along the lines of many white Americans!

  28. Am I the only one who is concerned that there is a “Chinese ceiling?” Does this ceiling apply to Chinese immigrants or Chinese-Canadians/Americans as well…

    on9_lkh@hotmail.com

  29. Would there be a rise in ‘concern’ if U of T consisted of predominately white students? Considering that most other universities in Canada is predominately white students – are universities going to limit the amount of white students to these universities? i.e. Western,McGill etc.

    No because what this article tells me is it’s ok to succeed in academics if you’re white but once minority populations succeed in school, we have a ‘concern.’ Why? because white folks are threatened by the successes of minority populations.

    Most of these minority students have parents who arrived in this country with 5$ in their pockets and had to build up their lives. For their children to be able to have a chance at university and succeed is wonderful thing. So what I have to say to the writers and editors of Maclean is get off your racist high horse and don’t deny that this article isn’t racist. What you’ve published is the most racist and ignorant peice of writing I have read in a long time. Home-grown white Canadians have no idea of the challenges faced by immigrants and the hardships they have endured. so for their children to be able to succeed and score high marks to enter university – there is nothing to be apologetic about. More so, Maclean should be apologizing to the Asian community for this appalling article. And for the Asians out there – keep on studying and succeeding!

  30. Hilarious. If any stock is to be put in this article, then I guess I should never step foot out my front door because North America in general is just too white. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not about race! It’s about the fact that white people are just all so damn similar and they all want to do the same damn thing as each other that bothers me. Goodness me. You know white people! They’re just all the same–a faceless mass.

    Is this what really passes for journalism? Listen Macleans: when you write an article based solely on anecdotal, personal observations from an extremely small group that is then summed up in a sweeping generalization (Too Asian?), that you’re trying to pass off as an actual trend piece, you’re doing it wrong.

    It’s incredible that as soon as white people start feeling like they’re being shafted, crap articles like this get written. What’s even worse is that Macleans has positioned this as an article of concern, as there are “worries that efforts in the U.S. to limit enrollment of Asian students in top universities may migrate to Canada”. How about white people just try not feeling threatened by minorities? How about universities just NOT LIMIT ENROLLMENT OF MINORITIES THAT WHITE PEOPLE FEEL THREATENED BY? That’s pretty damn easy, I’d say.

  31. Why Hockey rinks in Canada are so White? Why do white parents like to force their kids to play hockey? Why no body raises any concerns over 6 or 7 year old kids having to carry giant hockey bags entering into arenas early in the weekend mornings? Has anyone asked those kids if they naturally enjoy the sports without their parents’ guidance? MacLeans should do some research on this and publish an article about the results to show it’s not racially biased.

  32. Oh my gosh. If this disturbing trend continues, being white will be no advantage whatsoever. Those poor, poor white children–how it must feel to be so oppressed!

    *Clutches pearls*

  33. This article really upsets me. My respect for this magazine has fallen quite a bit after reading this article.

    Anyone that works hard should have the opportunity to go to university. There is a large Asian population at UVIC but no one seems to mind. Why should anyone care? Go to school, study hard, make some lifelong connections, and get the most out your degree. I don’t see how being Asian is threatening. I am a white person and I made two new friends this year – both Korean. Should I feel threatened? No. Instead I feel enlightened that I have the opportunity to learn about this new culture. Isn’t learning what university is all about anyways?

  34. Pingback: blogUT | University of Toronto Blog » Blog Archive » “Too Asian?” What does that even mean?

  35. Pingback: Asian American Literature » Blog Archive » Affirmative Action In Reverse

  36. Pingback: bestShows.net » Too Asian? Canada Gets Racial Stereotypes Wrong. Again.

  37. This article seems to suggest laying the groundwork for some sort of quota system, limiting the participating of Asians at certain universities. Too many of us, hunh? You sure about that?

    There is no discussion about how certain other universities are simply UNATTRACTIVE to Asian students, or why. There is no real investigation of the notion of impressing on ALL students the need to develop discipline, and focus in their studies. All the blames is thrown onto high achieving students and their parents. It’s nonsense. Asian students are not to blame for ruining the party-on experience of their white classmates. Grow up!

    And as for UBC, it has a robust Asian studies department that is DESIGNED to attract students interested in Asian Studies. If that’s “too Asian” for the girls from Havergal, fine, they should go somewhere else. And newsflash – U of T has always been a killjoy university, well before Asian attendance was of significance. That’s just U of T and it’s desire to be “the Harvard of the North.” Its standards have always been exacting.

    By the way, Vancouver has a very large Asian community, much larger than suggested in this article. To be fair, you claim “Chinese, Japanese and Korean,” count for 21% of Vancouver’s population, but that is leaving out Filipinos, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Cambodians and so on. With everyone all in, it comes to 29.17%.

    (It’s important to note that Statscan does not compile numbers for “Asians”. “Asian” is not a visible minority group under the Employment Equity Act. For some reasons, unlike the Black and South Asian communities, Asian Canadians are enumerated by national origin. Asians account for 18.9% of Toronto’s population and 6.4% nationally.)

    Why am I picking at the numbers? Because the discrepancy suggests a willingness to amplify white resentment, entitlement. There are too many of us? Are you serious? If you’re going to start talking about “too many” and pull out stats, you might want to get them right.

    I’m appalled. For those of us with any sense of history, this sounds alarmingly like “Yellow Peril” and more specifically, the W5 “Campus Giveaway” incident in 1980.

    From the opening paragraph that establishes the point of view of two white girls from Havergal, right down to the numbers supporting the argument, … This is crap, MacLeans. Just crap. You should retract it and publish an apology.

  38. Replace “East Asians” or “Asians” with “Jews” and watch Macleans and the world go up in smoke.

  39. CVC was probably the gayest club at UBC

  40. the article starts off by talking about how asians are taking up seats in med schools and about how their not giving white ppl the opportunity to do well and ends in something completely irrelevant about ethnic divisions and such….is it talking about dumbing down asians or keeping them out of our universities? i really dont get it…
    also, would YOU prefer your doctor to be an asian who gets their shit right 90% of the time or a white doctor who gets their shit right 70% of the time??? this is not to say i agree with the stereotypes in this article but if asians are able to get into med school over white ppl then they should bc they meet the necessary requirements….
    These ppl have been contributing to the progress of our nation….
    i thought this great american capitalism was about embracing hard working ppl not looking down on them…..
    and white ppl…shame on you for agreeing to be a stereotype!! i know a lot of smart and hard working white ppl, in fact most of my white friends work harder than me and are smarter than me! this is such a ridiculous article!!!!

  41. Stephanie Findlay and Nicholas Kohler are among the works greatest tools. Very very very poor piece of journalism. How hard did you have to think to come up with this crap?

    “Hey I went to uni! I think there are a lotta asians here, how about I ask some white guys n asians what they think and make blanket statements about what whites n asians think about their campuses and then make it an article on macleans”.

    Losers.

  42. I am Canadian Chinese and I went to U of T. It is not true that asians only study and have no life outside of studying. The life that I led outside of school is different from Caucasians because I do not enjoy drinking alcohol and “partying”. I worked part time on weekends through out university. Also I lived with my grandparents so outside of school I had to take grandparents to doctor’s appts and drive them to visit their friends. I also attend Chinese Christian fellowship and church. I did attend a pub to see what it was like and volunteered to sell beverage tickets. I also tried to play sports at university. In first year, attended badminton but the girls who were non asian would not allow me to play with them. They ignored me and did not offer to play with me. I was active in track and field in elementary school unitl everyone started outgrowing me and I could no longer compete. It is not true that asians don’t interact with profs and other students. I tutored about 4 caucasion students for free while I was in first year. One became a doctor, one became a dentist and one got into architecture. During university I also penned a play and performed it with some classmates and a prof. I also know of many asians who are active in extracurricular activities. The only difference is that these extracurricular activities may not be the same ones that non-asians participate in. I know of many asians who are active in extracurricular activities such as music (performing in orchestra), swimming, dancing (ballroom), etc. It seems that some non-asians seem to think that just because asians are not at the pub or attending campus events that they do not have a life outside of studying. My kids attend university now and they don’t go drinking or “partying” They do the same things that I did. They go to fellowship, church, fitness classes, volunteer at fundraisers and tutor friends who need help. I also encourage them to work part time in their field if they have the opportunity. My son is a bible study leader and my daughter is on planning committee for formal. There are just as many Caucasians and non asians who share the same values as many asians do. They also study hard and participate in activities that do not include drinking and “partying”. I think that the Macleans magazine is too simplistic and is stereotyping asians.

  43. Many Chinese students don’t realize that there is a whole new life outside of school. Many older generation employers talk about the “University of Society” – meaning that although you gain knowledge in school, there is still another stage that must be learned. It is something that they won’t realize until they are older.

    Education isn’t everything. Although you shouldn’t party all night long, Caucasians do have an edge in communication. And that is the key to business.

    I agree that Asians tend to work harder as a result of pressure from their parents, but there are some that are so rich that they don’t anyways. I draw this example from asians in Vancouver. Most Chinese families coming to Canada today are extremly wealthy and buys their children the best of everything.

    I am an Asian student, and I don’t think Asians are more likely to succeed than Caucasians.

  44. Clumping together all asians into a single stereotype and presenting it as such is racist, even jezebel says so. There would be better ways to have a discussion on this without the hyperbole and stereotyping.

  45. Since when did working hard and achieving one’s goals in life become such a heinous crime?

  46. i’m gonna repost what i posted on jezebel b/c this article is bullllshit.

    as a preface i’m a white canadian who went to undergrad at queen’s and grew up in vancouver and went to ubc for grad school.

    it pisses me off so much when people give this excuse for UBC having no community (tho honestly i only ever heard it from xenophobic baby-boomers who were pissed their kids were failing or didn’t get in…and probably their underachieving kids would say it too but not around me).

    i’ve read articles from the school paper in the 60s and 70s and people complained then about how ‘everyone works too hard and it’s no fun and noone knows each other’ – and it’s because it was, and still is, a COMMUTER CAMPUS. at least that’s 70% of the problem. and 20% because there’s 40,000 effing students and the administration doesn’t give a crap about building community. at my alma mater we had a week of initiation activities in our first year and at UBC they have ONE DAY. but racist scapegoating is definitely behind this new rationale for why UBC has no community.

    that said, there is definitely a minority of white and asian students at UBC that happily self-segregate. i know some of my asian friends in highschool were explicitly told by their parents not to hang out too much with white kids and ESPECIALLY not to date them. and on the other side i know some white parents that thought of asian-canadians as some threatening invading force that would compete their kids out of the lifestyle they ‘deserved’. of course 80% of kids ignore this bullshit, but the other 20% internalize…and never seem to be able to see ‘the other’ as legitimate humans being they could actually form a friendship and have fun with…..LLLLLAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMEEEE…. and sad…hopefully this will dissipate over time tho.

  47. oh and p.s. having worked with undergrads a lot during my grad studies at ubc (and taking summer classes at ubc), i can tell you that the students work NO HARDER at UBC than they did at queen’s and the classes are NO MORE DEMANDING….but how much time do you have left to party when you have to commute for 2hrs a day. NONE.

  48. This is a crap piece of journalism. The writers should definitely be ashamed of themselves. What the article portrays?
    1. People who are succeeding in school should be ashamed of themselves because they are not succeeding in white skin.
    2. It’s plausible to pick an university based on the amount of alcohol you are able to consume with your peers.
    3. Universities should place a racial cap upon entrance, so that less intelligent and qualified white kids can attend with the smartest asian you can find.
    4. Instead of asking why Canadian kids for not succeeding academically and not qualifying, we should blame it on the asian kids for raising the bar.
    5. If you are asian you are pigeon holed into this stereotype of nerds and keeners, if you are white you are less intelligent and drinks your way through university.

    If you are really digging into the situation, maybe you should find out the rate of university attendance for Canadian kids whose parents are both as educated as recent Asian immigrants. I’m sure the percentage is as high as second generation Asian immigrant kids. Recent immigration laws are so selective to the point that Chinese immigrants are either Engineers or Doctors or Architects etc. with either PhD or Masters degree. It’s not about race, it’s about the standard you set for your children based on the environment they were raised.

    Again, this article is a piece of shit.

  49. THIS ARTICLE IS THE MOST STEREOTYPICAL PIECE OF WRITING I HAVE EVER SEEN.
    IF YOU THINK ALL ASIANS PEOPLE ARE LIKE THIS, PLEASE COME TALK TO ME AND I’LL SHOW YOU HOW MUCH OF A GENERALIZATION THIS ARTICLE IS.
    YES, I’M WRITING IN CAPITALS BECAUSE THIS ARTICLE IS THE MOST BULLSHIT PIECE OF CRAP I HAVE EVER SEEN.
    WHOEVER WROTE THIS SHOULD PROBABLY QUIT THEIR JOB AND GO HOME

  50. Preface
    Asia-born-Canadian,
    Bachelor of Arts in English and East Asian Studies at U of T

    As an English major, I found the total numbers of non-white students in my classes to be small. Not once did I get that, “oh shouldn’t you be in economics or engineer?” look. More like, “oh have you done the readings for today, because I haven’t”. No form of racism stopped me from excelling in my class, even to the point of surpassing so-called “white-Canadian” counterparts.

    On the flipside, as an East Asian Studies major, the number of non-asians in my class could be counted with your hand. However, this did not stop non-asian students or myself from surpassing those individuals whose so-called “home country” was the central theme in our class.

    After school?
    I was a former member of a b-boy club, Japanese language club, and often hit the athletics gym. Outside of that, I would go out with a bunch of my buddies to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs catch their next beating while enjoying buffalo wings paired with some cold brewskies (grew up with the leafs, and will probably die the same way).

    Where does the problem lie? I don’t see “too asian” as a category. It all depends on how much you want to challenge yourself. Do you respect yourself enough to get a decent education while being socially adept and approachable? My East Asian Studies and English professors have one thing in common. They never saw their students as being international or domestic students. They saw them as students in Canada. Appropriately, if you don’t have a firm grasp of a certain country’s language or culture, then of course your grades will suffer. That does not mean that it is permanent and that there is nothing that can be done to reverse it. The time and effort put into something will always be reflected in the result.

    P.S.
    I do find it extremely irritating when international students or immigrants come to Canada and complain about how bad they think our education system is. Or how, out of frustration, they will bash the English language. I say, if you aren’t willing to learn about Canada and pick up English, then pack your bags and go home. I’m sure plenty of people back home would welcome you.
    And in case you are interested, I mingled with both whites and non-whites, with the whites outnumbering the non-whites with a small margin.

    I am aware of that there are a handful of grammatical errors in my piece, despite being an English major =P.

  51. In conjunction with my previous post, I would like to CLEARLY state that this article is total bullsh**. My white and asian friends are equally intelligent and equally stupid. Stupid people will be stupid, you can’t stop that. Race, culture, or ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

  52. Dear Stephanie Findlay and Nicholas Kohler,

    Could you please NOT impose your racist stereotypes onto me? I am an Asian Canadian university student that is NOT a model minority, NOT whitewashed, NOT from China (downtown or mainland), NOT socially inept, NOT only about studying, NOT an engineering student and AM at McGill. Sheesh!

    Thanks

  53. Why is this racist garbage still on your website? Take it down for god’s sakes before we drag your asses to court!

  54. Yes, how dare these Asians strive to do their best in this land of mediocrity.

  55. May I suggest to the writers to send their children to study down south where the education is much easier so they could get a top mark and find a low standart univ and put your kids there to attend so they could be graduate with honour and make u proud as parents and they still be able play hockey and partying all day long

  56. I mean come guys, now they complain about getting into University because other people are more hard working? If you’re too dumb/lazy you just can’t do it and have to accept that. If you don’t want accept it than work for it and don’t blame others. I believe these stats are true (Bell Curve), but honestly who cares. I think if you work hard enough you deserve it.

  57. I graduated out of engineering in the mid-90′s from Waterloo. Even back then this happened to some degree – outside of class the Caribbean guys hung out together, the HK and Chinese kids stuck together, while everybody else just mingled without form – “everybody else” including any of those two minorities that at least did their highschool in Canada.

  58. Wow, it is rather hard to believe that such a blatantly racist article would ever be published in this day and age. While East Asian cultural values place a high degree of importance on higher education, this does not mean that social and family values are neglected. To even suggest that universities are “too asian” screams racism and scapegoating. Universities are institutions of higher learning. While having a diverse student body with varying interests benefits the university, one should not lose sight of the primary function of a university; that function being educating and training young adults. To base admissions on racial quotas is simply disgusting. My (Asian immigrant) parents instilled into me from a very young age that Canada was a wonderful country because hard work in school as well as in general would be rewarded. Working hard is not an Asian value, and to complain that an ethnic group is working too hard is simply ridiculous

  59. I see one of those high-paid Asians who didn’t party during law school visiting the Macleans office soon.

  60. What a disgusting article! A racist magazine from a racist country.

  61. I can just imagine the Category Five Shitstorm that will arise if it said that Jews were taking over Finance and Business programs.

  62. Yet this article has obviously stirred up some strong sentiments – you can definitely say it made all the racists come out of the woodwork – but is this article completely invalid? It certainly picks and chooses whose perspectives to lean on – but how many people share even just a little bit of the same sentiment? I feel as this issue is a hot-button one that as Canadians we are somewhat afraid to directly acknowledge.

    Immigration has never been tension-free in any society. It is human tendency for the established class to gravitate towards highlighting differences and creating a sense of “otherness” of those who are arriving. Our two (Canada / US) countries may have been founded, or changed their laws to accomodate these principles. Yet despite having all been immigrants once – expect for the indigenous peoples (and look what we did to them!), people feel entitled to resent their differences.

    Now i believe we are at the point where the immigrant presence – smart, hardworking and driven – has reached a critical mass where the established majority feel genuinely threatened. Never has an influx of immigrants been able to alter the cultural landscape of higher learning to the extent which we’ve experienced.

    For those who complain that they can’t keep up – because they’re either unwilling to, or unable to work as hard due to an entitled (and inferior) work ethic – it really sucks for you. The meritocratic system may have worked to keep out minorities and immigrants in the past – but it’s now backfiring. Changing the rules and system at this point would basically admit to everyone that there is a double standard here. And that would not fly in today’s Canada.

    So thus is the dilemma. Under multiculturalism, which i previously commented on, our differences are becoming increasingly divisive. As Canadians we are scared to admit there is a problem which needs to be addressed. Admitting there is a problem will ignite a firestorm, sure, but until we do that our opportunities for open and progressive dialogue are limited.

  63. On one hand, multiculturalism is supposed to be embraced – yet what it seems to have become is TOLERANCE at best, but often thinly veiled mutual disregard for other cultures.

    We can’t have multiple parallel cultures running around not interacting with each other – ESPECIALLY at universities – a place where culture and mutual understanding and learning should be disseminated. If they say children are the future, our separation is setting a dangerous precedent for the future of Canada.

    However i’m hopeful that Canadians will learn not just to tolerate, but to accept and EMBRACE each other’s cultural and value differences. Instilling a sense of genuine curiosity and interest in each other’s cultures not only strengthens bonds, but helps to bridge the gap and unify us as Canadians.

  64. if it makes anyone feel better, I’m pretty sure I didn’t get into university based on my Asian-background alone.

  65. Quite frankly you get what you work hard for so it isn’t about immigrants coming to ‘your’ country, stealing your jobs or university spots. The two authors of this article attempted to bring their perceived reality perhaps driven by some sort of intention. If what they reported here has some merit to it, then it is a time for reflection for everyone. People with a preference to lead an honest hard working life, go nuts! People who also likes to work hard without sacrificing social interaction, go nuts as well! People who likes to whine and stir up some crap about others taking ‘your’ stuff, you are most probably proponents of stereotype perpetuation and you are spending way too much time on bringing this sort of awareness while you could be doing something that could put you at a better spot, like… WORK HARDER instead of getting your a** drunk at a party??! I don’t know man, I’m just saying!

  66. “Alexandra, a second-year student who looks like a girl from an Aritzia billboard.”

    Seriously? So it seems the implication is that what “Alexandra” says has credibilty because she “looks like a girl from an Aritzia billboard”? What kind of garbage journalism is this?

    I’ve lost all respect for Maclean’s and will likely never pick up another issue again.

  67. I’m a bit disappointed with this article because it seems quite one-sided. I’m of Asian background (mostly Filipino, with a bit of Chinese) who went to the University of Waterloo.I grew up in a neighbourhood with mostly Caucasian and went to a high school with mostly Caucasian so going to Waterloo was a bit of a culture shock for me.

    I started off in chemical engineering and I was one of the few asians in the class. It was mostly Caucasian people, but that obviously did not matter. I then switched to biochemistry which was mixture of various races. It’s not fair to point the finger at Asians. For a fact, my Caucasian friends from Waterloo (yes, they do exist) are just as hardworkers and just as bright as my Asian friends from the same school.

    Students are attracted to the University because of it’s world class education, not because it’s a school catered to a certain race. So if U of T and Waterloo happen to have a lot of asians, it’s because they want a good education. Would you turn down a great job with great pay, benefits, a great environment to work in just because there happened to be a large number of one minority group??

    And another thing, it would be the same thing if it were the other way around. I’m sure if Canadians (regardless of what background) were studying in China, they would stick with other Canadians because they would be more comfortable with each other and talk to each other in their own language.

  68. Apparently MacLeans doesn’t understand the concept of “Chinese Canadians.”

  69. I am a Chinese Canadian, who graduated from McGill. This article is uncalled for and utterly racist. I do not even know where the author graduated from to have such narrow-mindedness.

    At McGill’s social environment, whether we are asian or caucasian, we partied hard and worked hard. We certainly did our part to get in. For those who did not get in, it is only and really because they are not competitive enough. Their jealousy would only hurt those around them.

  70. Before long, white supremacists blame colored people for lazy, not willing to study, lack of family influence to learn, eating social security, living off government welfare, etc, etc, among others. Now, comparing to some groups of colored people, these same people (who was complaining just yesterday) are becoming the burden of the society. What are they going to do? Dragging everyone down the drain?

  71. I am very disturbed that this article was published.

    It perpetuates stereotypes. It also negatively impacts Macleans’ reputation. Many paragraphs in the article require serious editing.

    PLEASE think carefully about publishing crap like this in the future.

  72. So what again is Canadian culture? I have lived in Canada for over 35 years and still not sure what it means. Play hockey? Eat breakfast at Tim Hortons? Call each other hosers? Coo roo coo coo coo coo coo coo! speak French? Ha! All English Canada would scoff at that! Or am I to take the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics as a clue? Maybe it is time we all became Aboriginal.
    White students shouldn’t worry about the small numbers of Asians competing with you in the universities or the job market. They are at least CANADIANS for the most part, and want to see Canada strong in the world. Worry about the 2 billion Indians and Asians living outside of Canada. They are working even harder and are more driven than you can imagine. They are competing with other Asians all the time! They could give a rats ass if you can’t keep up, and would scoff at your weakness.
    As for Asian students who don’t speak Engrish? How are the white students losing to them? Shouldn’t natural born speakers of English have an overwhelming advantage? Like abled bodied athletes in the disabled games. You should be on top in every category.
    And Asians who don’t integrate in school life will suffer after they graduate. They will have a horrible time fitting into the cultures when they go overseas to do business in China or India. They just won’t understand those foreign cultures if they don’t assimilate into Canada.
    Even if they stay in Canada, they will have troubles in the workplace because isn’t it obvious they are having terrible times in university? Seems they are not doing well there

  73. “…many white students simply believe that competing with Asians—both Asian Canadians and international students—requires a sacrifice of time and freedom they’re not willing to make.” Then these “white kids” should be happy with whatever university offer they get.

  74. There are many flaws in this extremely reductive article. The homogenous title of ‘Asian’ to mean ‘East Asian’ and, for the most part, ‘Chinese’ is just one of the many problems that need to be addressed. The underlying implication that Asian students come from immigrant parents (or are immigrants themselves) is another offensive flaw. When Lisa Lowe writes that Asian Americans (I will take the liberty to extend her vocabulary to include Asian North Americans) are ‘forever foreigners’ despite Asian presence since the mid-19th century, she writes in opposition to voices such as those interviewed in this article (as well as the authors) who equate Asian features with foreignness. Imagine, if you would, being a sixth-generation Chinese Canadian student who is stereotyped as the ‘model minority’ based on the ignorant theorizations about immigrant lifestyle such as those expressed in this issue of Macleans!

    Calculating percentages of ‘Asianness’ is absurd (are multiracial Asian students considered ‘white,’ ‘black,’ ‘Native,’ ‘Asian’ etc… in this format?) as is the careless repetition of terms like ‘banana,’ ‘white-washed’ and ‘model-minority’ without proper acknowledgement of the violent prejudice that these words can perpetuate (even if the speaker is of that minority group).

    I’ve heard similar arguments as those made in this article in less cautious formats: Rhetoric that Asians are ‘stealing our jobs,’ and ‘stealing our women,’ led to dangerous policies and violent events – Chinese Head Tax, the Gentleman’s Agreement, and the Continuous Journey regulation are shameful truths in Canada’s past. In 1981, Vincent Chin was murdered in Detroit because enraged (and recently laid off) automotive workers mistook him for a Japanese labourer whose immigration to the United States had made their employment redundant. The atmosphere of competition and scapegoating presented in this article (and made explicit in the anecdote provided by the student who was confronted at his graduation by an angry parent) is dangerously apparent.

    Perhaps made obvious by my statement, I am an Asian Canadian professor at McGill University. I do not teach math, science, engineering, or business – but Humanities, one of the many fields ignored by this article. I am deeply saddened by the opinions expressed in this article, but I am encouraged by the protests to it that appear on this webpage. Please continue to stand up against veiled racism and liberal hypocrisy.

  75. As an Asian-American, I didn’t find the article racist at all. It didn’t lean one direction; it merely reported the facts. The truth of the matter is I enjoy knocking back a few beers just as much as any white, asian, black, purple, or green person. But at the same time doing well in school has usually resulted in advancement in life so I try to do both. I think the two predominantly mentioned cultures in this article, Western and Asian, can learn a lot from each other. Asians are more reserved by nature, whether it be because of cultural customs or even just being foreigners in Western society. Whites tend to be more extroverts, but there are plenty of whites who do exceptionally in school. But NEITHER OF THESE APPROACHES IS WRONG JUST DIFFERENT. Finding a balance between working hard and playing hard is ideal, and it would be ignorant to think one culture’s approach is right and the other is wrong.

  76. So basically if you are a non-white, uneducated and unskilled then you hated hated against for being one of those ‘damn immigrants who are ruining our society’. On the other hand if you are a non-white, educated and highly skilled then you are hated against for ‘taking our jobs/spots’. As if the spots only belong to white people since they are obviously more valuable to society…. How dare us Asian people think we are equals to them, and that the only thing you need to succeed in society is intelligence and hard work!

    Absolutely disgusting, RACIST trash.

  77. So, according to this article, Asian American students will be socially disadvantaged in their professional life because they do not learn the proper “socializing” skills that comes with partying, right? Are the social skills one learns at a Frat Party or at a Keg Party really so important for “canadianness” that without them, the nation would fall apart? Do you really need to be able to do a keg stand to get that second interview?

    And yet another example of scapegoating bigotry hiding behind the veil of liberal/multicultural “tolerance”. This is plain bad and irresponsible journalism, unapologetically reinforcing and reinvigorating the age-old specters of the “yellow peril”. Once again, in this national “mosaic”, everyone can be different, as long as they are all the same, right? And as long as they do not threaten those holding the privilege to define who and what that “sameness” stand for.

  78. So people realize that Asians include Indians, Nepalese, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, right?

  79. hey white kids, thanks for bullying all the Asians throughout elementary and high school – for our inability to speak English! it really drove us to soar above you guys academically! *sigh*
    It’s simple logic that the writers of this article, as well as the white people interviewed seemed to have neglected. You work hard, you do well in school. To gain something, you have to make sacrifices. It doesn’t matter if you’re white or not. I know white people doing much better than Asians in maths, sciences, whatever. I’ve seen English majors who do better than white kids in their classes, even though it’s their second language. I’ve seen black people do better than asians, whites .. anyone. The point is, the colour of your skin doesn’t matter. If you don’t want to go to a school full of Asians, well, continue to live your ignorant, racist lives. Sooner or later, you’ll have to encounter an Asian. Oh, those Asian people you didn’t want to go to school with? chances are, you’ll be calling them boss because you weren’t willing to give up your time and partying to do well.
    If you look at this article – I assume written by white people, it doesn’t matter how “not racist” you claim it is. If you make a difference between the different races, and the content is negative, it’s racist. The title itself is already racist. “Too Asian?” You kidding me? And you think that Queen’s, Western, McMaster aren’t filled with Asians? Check again. A school doesn’t need a reputation for its race. Macleans, this is an extremely disappointing article, poorly written and ripe with racism.

  80. This was an issue when I was graduating from high school in the late 90s. At my school (very similar place to Havergal, where Rachel and Alexandra went), the Asian students (mostly Chinese) mostly had U of T or Waterloo as their top picks, while the non-Asian girls (mostly white) tended to want to go to Queen’s, McGill or Western. I’m sure there were also Asian students who claimed that Waterloo and U of T were “too FOBBY” (mostly prospective science majors, I guess). We were also fairly segregated when it came to the classes we took. AP Calculus was pretty much ALL ASIAN (probably 30 people divided between two sections) while the regular OAC Calc class was more diverse. OAC Writer’s Craft (maybe 20 people in the class…not sure…it was over 12 years ago, so I don’t remember) had perhaps 2 or 3 Asian students. Neither Calc nor Writer’s Craft had students who were not in their OAC year. I think this is something that a lot of people are worried about. The fact that many don’t mingle or attempt to learn the typical campus culture (not that U of T really has any sort of campus culture to begin with. It’s a commuter school, after all).

    As for Rachel and Alexandra…they went to Havergal. It’s not like they’ve never gone to school with Asians.

  81. This article is hilarious. It fails to even make a real point. The two sides presented seem to be:

    About the asians:
    “too successful”, scaring away the white people who cant compete and that this is somehow “unfair.” They’re driven harder to succeed academically than white people, and thus this is inappropriate…because again, the white people cant keep up.
    Meanwhile, apparently these same asians have no social skills and thus are failures to society.

    About white people:
    They like to drink, party, and slack. Thus, they cant meet the standards of academically-focused institutions like UofT. Now they’re jealous and upset because they cant come these schools and party, or be a ‘ski bum.’ However, they do have great social skills. obviously, since all they seem to want to do is drink and party.

    Other points:
    I like how it separates asians/chinese from “canadians.” excuse me, but white people stole this land from the aboriginals. Furthermore, Canada as we know it today prides itself on being multicultural.

    Institutions like UofT have always been academic-focused. That is what they are, and that is what they’re known for. Because you dont agree with that philosophy, doesnt mean you go demanding it changes. just go to a different school. You dont go to Zellers and get upset because they dont sell Gucci or Chanel.

    Its funny how theres this idea of critizing the asians for working “too hard” and being “too successful.” Shouldnt we, as a nation, try to bring the people on the low-end of the spectrum (according to this article, the white people) up to the higher standards? Rather than bring everyone down to a lower standard? Does that not seem absurd to anyone else?

    Keep in mind the immigrant mentality: these are people who have gone through much hardship in recent decades, having nothing, and thus having to work extremely hard to make something for themselves. This is why they succeed. The article mentions those from Hong Kong who have plenty of financial support, etc. This wealth also came from hard work, whether it be in Canada or otherwise.

    The “white” crowd referred to here are likely the ones with family lines dating back to confederation. With time, you become complacent. Its understandable they dont have the same drive. So why should the asians behave this way?

    And finally, i find the irony of it all is that these asians are succeeding in a “white” world, playing by rules set by “white people” and apparntly they are “winning.” Now the “white” people are sore losers. So what do you want to do about it? change the rules again? That will solve nothing. When it comes down to it, these “asians” will still succeed eventually.

  82. To the Authors: Just so we’re clear, tacking a question mark onto the title of this piece doesn’t then allow you to claim that you’re merely posing a question for debate, nor does it absolve you of the ensuing offence that that sort of inflamatory rhetoric causes.

    As for your ultimate claim that “newer, fresher ways are needed to help pry the ethnic ghettos open so everyone hangs out together,” I have two thoughts: First, why is it that only non-white social circles ever get termed “ethnic ghettos,” as though any of the white/Western European ethnicities are somehow not also ethnicities in their own right? Second, the overall tone of the article suggests that you think that the forces behind the formation of these “ethnic ghettos” are all pull, and no push. You might wish to re-examine that premise a little more closely.

  83. It’s not about race, it’s about attitude!

    First and second generation Canadians (i.e. immigrants and kids of immigrants) go to school to learn, work hard and succeed. Most of them are in business, engineering, pre-med studies, etc.

    Third and fourth generation Canadians have a much stronger sense of entitlement, expecting a degree and a good job to be handed to them on a silver platter. These are your sociology, geography and psychology grads with $50K+ of student debt.

    Read “The Millionaire Next Door” and you’ll see the same correlation. It’s work ethic versus sense of entitlement.

  84. My understanding of the article is it is about self selection. I have reread the article and couple of times and don’t see anywhere where it is suggested that asians being good at math, science or anything else is a bad thing that needs to be stopped. Nor do I read anywhere that the article suggests that “Asian” students are taking away jobs or university spots from “white” students. The article does provide examples of racism (mother telling asain student he took spot from her kid) as well as how the situation i handled in the US. At no time does the author of the article promote either of these actions. The main theme of the artcile is how do Canadian university stop an ever growing self segragation of students into “white” schools and “asian” schools. I don’t see this as racism. Just because the reason this self segragation is happening is based on stereotypes, does not mean it is not happening. Do

  85. Good God this is offensive. Maclean’s is reprinting the comments of a few isolated racists and acting like they speak for my entire generation. Or at least the ‘white’ members of my generation. In publishing this article, this magazine has shown itself to be laughably, painfully out of touch with the experience of being a student in a major Canadian University.

    Actually what is more likely, Maclean’s knows very well that what is printed here is a total farce, and they’ve published it anyway, because in the age of dying print, there’s no such thing as journalistic standards.

  86. Dear Albert:
    For your information when McLeans stated the facts as they are then there can be noone upset, like you are, because “the Truth is the Truth”. If the Truth upsets you then the only conclusion I can come to is that wherever you came from the Truth is a rare commodity! To me this is very obvious but should you wish to discuss this fact further please do. You may not realize but In Canada we have what is called ” Freedom of Speech”. Now if you did not have this from wherever you came from then I feel sorry for you.

    Let me give you two Factual examples of the problem. We invited our Chinese neighbours over for a summer BBQ several times to be able to mix with other Cultures. The next summer they had a BBQ on their deck and I went over to the fence and the long line of trees and was shocked. Every single person at their BBQ was Chinese. They all spoke Chinese, and my wife and I were not invited. Now if you look at this closely, the only conclusion is that they are “Racist”. At another time I was jogging through the U.of T. Campus when I saw three Chinese girls coming towards me and chatting like crazy in Chinese. Suddenly I realized that they fully expected me to move over to the grass as the U.of T. Campus sidewalk belonged fully to them. Needless to say I did not and two of them went flying. This kind of arrogence I do not understand because they are Guests in my Country. I was taught, as a Canadian, that it was important to be polite and respectful. It was very obvious that they were brought up under another set of values. I was also taught that if you are in someone’s else house or Country you must be very polite as opposed to being “Racist” and “Arrogant”. Unlike most Canadians I am not “spineless” and will speak up when it is necessary. Congratulations to the honest people at McLeans. The McLean article stated that this problem is not unique to Canada and you had better write to them as well. Please print their reply.

    Well Albert, if you wish to become a Canadian you must respect our Canadian Culture which states very clearly that the “Truth is the Truth”.

    Rob E.
    Willowdale
    November 12, 2010.

  87. It’s not because they’re Asian, it’s because you’re lazy. God forbid schools strive for academic excellence. As a white student on the Dean’s List at U of T, I can honestly say it has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with how badly you want to succeed. If you want to go out drinking, then by all means pick a “party school.” But don’t blame Asians because you can’t keep up.

  88. The real problem with this “article” is the underlying racist tone, from its title/thesis “Too Asian”, unfair and offensive stereotyping, and it driving conclusion (“Yes, Universities are too Asian. We better do something about it.”). It doesn’t matter if some of the points or facts that the article uses to strengthen its argument may or may not be correct (which I question), it is still racist to say that a group of people should be excluded from entry because of their race/ethnicity, period.

  89. I am from Asian background and a mother of 15-year-old boy. I am recently thinking to subscriber a good business magazine for him. There are couple big names on my candidate list, including MacLeans which now is the one I crossed off after reading ‘Too Asian?’.

    I am astonished then chilled while reading it. I don’t blame those young, white university students like Alexandra and Rachel because they indeed needed to explain why they chose more party/fun over studying when attending university. What I am angry with is that their so racially-biased comments have been approved and published on Macleans to hurt many Canadian like us, who are so proud to live in a country where, by working/studying hard, anyone can make both his/her personal life and his/her own dear country
    better and prosperous.

    Shame on you, Macleans.

  90. I am sorry, lets be a little academic about this article please and not personally offended by it, because as someone has pointed out, it is indeed based on stats and will you believe it or not, we all know how hard working the Chinese people are. that is an undebatable fact, and frankly they pass that on to their kids, also, may I remind you ladies and gentleman, that we have a one child policy in China, that is still upheld today, where only if you have a farm out in nowhere or are stinking rich, may you have 2 kids. Google it if you like, its true.
    Anyway, thus, their desire for their children, in this case, their child to do well, because they only ever have one is even bigger.
    What is wrong about teaching your kid to work hard?

    Back to the racial aspect, I still think that this is soemthing to be swallowed with a pinch of salt….if that makes sense.

    Oh and, racism? hahahaha wake up its everywhere… but there is also freedom of speech, so if we disallow this publication, what abot publications that are not racist?

  91. This article is not racist towards Asians. It even contained numerous examples of racism towards the Asian population. I think the article highlights the faux multiculturalism that exists in Canada where each minority sticks together which runs counter to the whole idea of multiculturalism.

    I remember stressing over marks back in undergrad with my guidance councillor and she told me: ” remember, University is not just about academics”. She was right. It is a place to refine social skills and meet new girls. You grow as an individual. If we cut out the social aspect of our lives and our whole focus was on sacrificing our present time so we could enjoy the future, would we be able to ever decide when enough is enough?

    re to Lily:

    Macleans is not a Business magazine. It is a Canadian current affairs Magazine. I hope he picks up Playboy instead. Their articles are surprisingly thought provoking from time to time.

  92. The article about “too Asian” Canadian universities is just stereotype+ racism, the forcing-study thing is the way too exaggerated, not an objective fact at all.

    It is so obvious racism and discrimination, the drive behind this article maybe even much uglier.

    We would not keep quiet about this.

  93. By numbers Asians represent approx. 25% of word population. Since we still live in a free country where movement of people an ideas is free I’d expect a similar distribution in many or all walks of life. If in univ they are 35-40% it means they’re occupying a spot that was left empty. In the last millennium human evolution has been directly linked to higher levels of education.
    This isn’t about racism is about figuring out who left their spot empty and create incentive for that group to come back. To continue to evolve as a species humans have to learn to keep a balance.

  94. I am an Asian mother, we live in Canada for 22 years, my English is not very good but I still want to let both write know;we never force our girl to choose any career or go to any famous university. she never went to a famous high school or getting 90′s as over all either. Since she is 6 years, she told us that she want to become an animal doctor. We only repect and support her. My girl, not only always study, since high school, she always has lots of sports, swimming team, horse riding team, you name it! At the same time, she like to help the society. In high school,she helped to save the thrid world children to raise money for food and education. She volunteer for the panda and the programme in Africa. Even last year, she fund raised for the children who had cancer all over Canada . Let me ask the writers who wrote this artical, is my girl, too Asian? For a girl like her, is she desearve a fair chance to get into a university to fullfill her goal? Let me tell you, my girl, took 3 years to get her BS degree, she is not an Asian A+ student, but she got into University of Guelph, Vet College. she is a year 3 vet. student now. She still helping a lot of people, or animals who need help. I do not know what you think? I am very proud of her, because she is a very good Canadian.Please, this is 2010, do more research before you write your article.

  95. “White students shouldn’t worry about the small numbers of Asians competing with you in the universities or the job market. They are at least CANADIANS for the most part, and want to see Canada strong in the world. Worry about the 2 billion Indians and Asians living outside of Canada. They are working even harder and are more driven than you can imagine. They are competing with other Asians all the time! They could give a rats ass if you can’t keep up, and would scoff at your weakness.”

    GOOD POINT

  96. How is this article ‘racist’? This is more of the stuff we need in this country! The fact is…we say as Canadians that we are very proud of our liberties such as freedom of expression and freedom of speech yet rip on a magazine when they exercise this right. This article states things that are facts…most students of Asian decent are doing extremely well in university and high school. The problem here in Canada is once you mention race…its taboo. One friend said that in Canada we have an unspoken right that we have the ‘right not 2 b offended’…these discussions are the ones we need to have in Canada…we have to talk about uncomfortable discussions…we have to talk about things and problems/issues that exist but people dont talk about..if we dont…we are assuming that everything is okay…that prejudice & racism do not exist in Canada….and that you only hear ‘right-wing’ racist crap & stereotypes from places like the southern US where stereotypes and prejudice are openly displayed…well…last time I check…two southern states Louisiana and South Carolina have governors of Indian descent (one of whom is a women)…two African-American governors in the US…while Canada has had no elected visible minorities for premier or prime minister in this countries history!!!…if we ignore…if we chose not to talk or have open dialouge….it doesnt mean these issues will cease to exist or go away…it just means they will surface l8tr…& who knows what ugly form they will take…

  97. I cannot beleive that happen in Canada, especially come from one well know magazine. This is unacceptable. Canada is multi-cultural country. This article is definity racist.
    All universities have their high level requirement, as long as your grade is good enough to get into. It should court on the student is Asia Canadian or not. If you cannot get into the university, please think about it what’s wrong and go back to study hard. Don’t blame on Asia student.
    We should put that article to “Equal Fair Department” to do the investigation.
    The director of magazine and writer should make apologze to the public.
    I feel extremely upset and disappointment on Macleans. Macleans used to be one of famous, well known and good magazine but it’s gone.

  98. it’s ironic how there’s so many non-Asian kids in my highschool that’s getting 70′s or even lower wanna get into med school later on in life and keep on saying “i’m smart, but i just don’t like to work hard.” i don’t know if they are smart or not because i can’t really see their outstanding intellegence from all these low 70′s, but apparently, they know that they are lazy and are not willing to work diligently. however, there’s a bunch of smart white kids in my high school and they WORK HARD. i can tell you, the two racist authors of this article, it’s not the RACE, COLOUR NOR BACKGROUND that matters, it’s how much effort you have put into studying that makes us DIFFERENT. but please keep this in mind, we are different because you are just not willing to pay the price for a HIGH STANDARD ACHIEVEMENT and it’s not our fault to make your kids or even yourself drop out of university:) by US i mean the HARD-WORKING Asian and non-Asians.

  99. btw…I agree with Rob, David & Milo except for one of the points Milo made that ‘the article highlights the faux multiculturalism that exists in Canada where each minority sticks together which runs counter to the whole idea of multiculturalism’…sorry to disappoint u Milo…but sadly…thats the entire point of multiculturalism which is about the presevrvation of cultures…what Canada shud do is not assimulate other cultures but rather help immigrants and minorities intergrate…

    PS this is coming from an African-Canadian btw

  100. This is not racist!!! As the article states correctly ‘such circumstances persist precisely because the issue of race is not attacked head on’. We need 2 talk about these issues…not ignore them or put them on the backburner bcuz they might ‘offend’ someone…dialouge cr8s understanding and acceptance…if we talk about this now…when r u going 2 talk about it?…when there is a racial attack against Asian-Canadians bcuz ppl feel they r stealing jobs?…U dont have 2 agree w/ the opinion being expressed…but @ least its being discussed…

  101. I am is seriously disgusted @ ppl who commented on this article’ & called it ‘racist’!…these ppl seriously need 2 look up the definition of the word…but…oh yeah…this is Canada…any time u mention race its racist!

  102. So basically some white students are realizing they might have to work harder to actually EARN grades, university spots and jobs. Suck it up and why don’t you do some work, instead of whining that other folks are more motivated than you?

  103. Now..pointing towards a particular race saying that it’s their fault because they work too hard and they are stealing your spots at jobs and work isn’t racism? Maybe this is one that hangs there to be decided..if not racism then I’d say stupidity.

  104. You know, this really doesn’t help the stereotype that white kids are lazy, drunken, over-privileged brats who don’t deserve the riches and advantages that they have been handed on a silver platter. It’s rather ironic – when Asians take over the world, at least we won’t have any doubts as to whether or not they’ve earned it.

  105. Really, this is the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. Especially about the mother to told of the asian student that he took her son’s spot….well maybe if her son worked harder jeez. If people don’t deserve to get in then they don’t deserve to get in it is as simple as that so stop blaming others for your failures.

  106. re: James (reply on Tumblr)

    Let’s just start with the beginning of your last paragraph: “I’ve only gone through a page and a half of this article, but the rest pretty much reiterates the same idea.”

    Maybe if you’d read the rest of the article you’d realize that this is purely an analysis of what’s currently going on in society. I’m not saying that everything mentioned is necessarily correct, but if you’d made it to the third page you’d see that the strongest point this article makes is that people should be able to talk about issues of diversity without the fear of being called a racist any time it’s brought up. Ignoring the issues at hand doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

  107. Makes sense. What the authors are suggesting is that if we can get the Asians to stop hanging out together, and collectively adopt mediocrity as a new goal, then the white majority will feel more comfortable when they apply to the major universities.

    Just think how bad men felt applying to major schools when Second Wave feminism was tearing through the status quo on campuses… must have been scary times indeed.

  108. “Maclean’s — we’ve been languishing, ignored, in Canada’s dentists’ offices for more than a century for a reason.”

    “Maclean’s — we’re like Time magazine for remedial readers, with a six-week time lag and 22 percent more reactionary nonsense.”

  109. Hello Canada, greetings from Texas.
    Summary of this article:
    Generally, white kids drink too much. Because they party, they must be social.
    Generally, Asian kids study too much. Because they don’t party, they are antisocial.
    Damn.
    McLeans, I once thought it was impossible to beat Fox News for stupidity, but you have trumped them with this 4-page stereotypical trash.

  110. What about Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, First Nation, Polynesians? Are they given preferential treatment in admissions? Or do you say the same about them as whites — do the extra work and get the good grades and then you will be admitted to these schoools.

  111. I find the dialogue around this hilarious.
    Especially the people who get offended around an article such as this. Canadians are so poor at talking about any ethnic specific, which means it must be “racist”. The issue is not about white people being stupid and lazy or asians being unsocial calculators. It’s about the fact the lack of social integration from asians who can’t or don’t want to. At UBC you’ll see a group of Hongers speaking Cantonese, Koreans studying in Korean past midnight, mainland chinese working on a business case in mandarin and a group of Indian engineerings working in hindi. I could draw the lines between ethnic groups with chalk. Because they come to Canada at 7, 12, 16 or 18 to study and learn and never really leave their country. Are there Asians who are more Canadian than I am? Damn yes. But I’m referring to the Asians who will always know my ethnicity as just “white”. To the Asians who I can (and have) spend all my social time with speaking only Mandarin. And they aren’t motivated to integrate with ‘real Canadians’ (white, asian, native or otherwise) cause they don’t want to, or don’t know how. These are the problems we’re facing. And the lack of integration and cultural knowledge works both ways. If you study in Canada, you better speak English or French. And if you study in China, you damn well better speak Chinese.

  112. This piece of trash shouldn’t even be on mccleans.
    The next cover page story on McCleans should be on how much white kids are drinking their brain cells away, that’s a reflection of society right now as well.
    Too Asian, or TOO white, a university is still a university. If kids can’t handle diversity, then by all means move somewhere else. If by now, kids still don’t understand this concept and the backbone of this country then really, then either their parents aren’t teaching them the necessary skills to adapt to a ever changing society OR these kids are living in a box.

  113. Trudeau’s curse. How’s that working out for you?

  114. I wish I was so lucky as to have that mother who accused Frankie Mao (the UBC Arts Student) of taking her son’s spot say the same thing to me. I would have given her the biggest verbal lashing of her life. What an ignorant and stupid comment to make. In fact, this whole idea of even considering putting a ceiling on Asian people being accepted into university is ridiculous.

    “Too Asian” is not about racism, say students like Alexandra: many white students simply believe that competing with Asians—both Asian Canadians and international students—requires a sacrifice of time and freedom they’re NOT WILLING TO MAKE. They complain that they can’t compete for spots in the best schools and CAN’T PARTY AS MUCH AS THEY’D LIKE.

    Well cry me a river. If you want to party, then do it elsewhere. Don’t complain that you can’t get into university because it’s too competitive. There is a reason why entrance in is based on grades and not your ability to down a six-pack in under an hour. There already is a social component integrated into the criteria for getting into top universities and graduate schools. If the “Asians” qualify to pass this criteria, then they rightfully belong there. This isn’t about social groups or asian kids being socially inept. They’re socially fine. Maybe they don’t speak in English, but I’m sure they socialize fine amongst their own group. And this is coming from an asian who can’t speak a word of chinese dialect. I don’t think those types of asians ignore “white people” and “white parties” because they don’t like them; maybe thats just not their type of party. Turn the tables around. I don’t see any white people trying to join in on the “mah jong” games. So don’t convict “asians” like it’s a race problem.

    Oh, and good for the U.S. Elite schools for putting a ceiling on asian students to let in the not so deserving. It’s “awesome” and I hope all elite school’s reputation excel for it. For example: (Quickly sourced from Wikipedia)

    ___ finished his high school years at Phillips Academy, a boarding school (then all-male) in Andover, Massachusetts, where he played baseball and during his senior year was the head cheerleader.[27] ___ attended Yale University from 1964 to 1968, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.[28] During this time, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, being elected the fraternity’s president during his senior year.[29][30] ___ also became a member of the Skull and Bones society as a senior.[31] ___ was a keen rugby union player, and was on Yale’s 1st XV.[32] He characterized himself as an average student.[33]
    Beginning in the fall of 1973, ___ attended the Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA. He is the only U.S. President to have earned an MBA.[34]

    Good education, right? Attended good schools. Take a guess at who that is. Don’t know? I’ll give you a hint

    ___ intelligence has been satirized by the media,[283] comedians, and other politicians.[284] Detractors tended to cite linguistic errors made by ___ during his public speeches, which are colloquially termed as ___isms.[285] Editorials in Harper’s Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Common Dreams NewsCenter, and The Nation have referred to ____ as “the worst president ever”

    Figured it out yet? Hmmm… I hope more of us grow up to be just like him/her.

    Everyone who has ever attended university has worked hard to get to where he or she is and they rightfully belong there, asians included. Can’t compete? Then fine yourself a full time job instead of complaining. No one will look down on you for that.

  115. If this article were about how we need to lower the admissions of white students for the benefit of other racial groups, you’d have all sorts of people in here shouting OMG SO RACIST OMG!!! Of course, it’s not affirmative action if it benefits white people.

  116. I’m not sure why disproportionate Asian success is either a)anything new or b)a bad thing. This feature doesn’t make it clear either.

    Perhaps the authors are dogmatic about equality – so that any ethnic group being disproportionately represented or unrepresented in any activity or position is a problem. Every time I read a presenation of statistics that says that ‘X group makes up Y percentage of the population and yet, in some given area, they make up Y to the power of 3′ I think ‘well, yes, and so what?’ What are the catastrophic implications we’re so worried about? Could not the same argument have been made about Jews in past generations? Did that turn out so bad?

    If anything, “whites” should be encouraged to do as the “asians” supposedly are – devoting less time to drinking, more time to studying – although one should be mindful that these generalizations can be taken only so far.

  117. funny how the picture is so stereotypically asian as well: a guy with glasses.

    they really had to complete the whole stereotype didn’t they?

  118. This is exactly why Macleans is a complete failure.

  119. Blinding Reality says:
    November 12, 2010 at 11:51 pm
    I find the dialogue around this hilarious.
    Especially the people who get offended around an article such as this. Canadians are so poor at talking about any ethnic specific, which means it must be “racist”. The issue is not about white people being stupid and lazy or asians being unsocial calculators. It’s about the fact the lack of social integration from asians who can’t or don’t want to. At UBC you’ll see a group of Hongers speaking Cantonese, Koreans studying in Korean past midnight, mainland chinese working on a business case in mandarin and a group of Indian engineerings working in hindi. I could draw the lines between ethnic groups with chalk. Because they come to Canada at 7, 12, 16 or 18 to study and learn and never really leave their country. Are there Asians who are more Canadian than I am? Damn yes. But I’m referring to the Asians who will always know my ethnicity as just “white”. To the Asians who I can (and have) spend all my social time with speaking only Mandarin. And they aren’t motivated to integrate with ‘real Canadians’ (white, asian, native or otherwise) cause they don’t want to, or don’t know how. These are the problems we’re facing. And the lack of integration and cultural knowledge works both ways. If you study in Canada, you better speak English or French. And if you study in China, you damn well better speak Chinese.

    ***********************************

    Just wanted to comment on “Blinding Reality’s” post.

    Of course Asians are angry about this article. They’ve been singled out. You seem knowledgeable and have your own opinions regarding Asians and that’s fine. But you’re viewpoint is not what this article is about. It’s implying that “whites” are resentful of Asian students.

    Asians are upset because they’re playing by the “rules,” – get an education, start a career, start a family etc. But they are constantly vilified in the media.

    There are many other ethnic groups that are studious and appear to interact only with themselves whether they are Black, Eastern European, Persian, Israeli etc. This story idea is controversial. Would Macleans dare write this article singling out other groups?

    You also forgot to mention that you could draw a line around the white students. Why is the onus on ethnic students to mingle with Canadian students? It cuts both ways.

    I am disappointed but not surprised about this Macleans article. Canada has a long history of discrimination towards Asians ie MacKenzie King, miscegenation law, head-tax

    The only positive thing that has come from all this is that Asians are now calling BS. Taking the high-road and writing people off as ignorant has not been effective. It’s time to be vocal.

  120. I think people (asian, white, black, indian… whatever) need to realize what’s important is the individual, and not the collective group.
    Being Asian I know how much pressure we get from parents… and even grandparents about doing well in school… It’s in the culture… you either do what they say or you will hear about it everyday…
    Most Asian parents don’t really care if their kids are social outcasts… as long as they do well in school… they are problem-free.

    Obviously this is wrong. and it is something that I am personally trying to change… for my own sake. because life is so much more than just reading books and doing well on tests… It’s about interacting and learning from the PEOPLE around you!!!

    I think it’s sad and dysfunctional that us Asians are pressured into doing things that other aren’t…
    but know that it’s not impossible to get out of the crazy lonesome circle. In fact it’s pretty easy… go outside… meet some new people… don’t just work and talk to the people whom you already know… I mean if you don’t interact with people and don’t speak the language… how can you ask people to treat you equally???

    Instead of worrying about what people say about all Asians… everyone really should take care of themselves. most of the things in the articles are quite true… Asians do need to break out of their annoying habits. I know I always try to do that for myself.

  121. Come on u so called white canadian be integrated dont segragated be truly canadian live like me and culturely blended with the real candian pls live like CANADIAN INDIAN <WE are The real canadian.

  122. I think this article is full of crap. I think this proves that Macleans is now ranked right next to People magazine when it comes to quality content. It makes all “white” kids sound like drunks and “oh the poor asian kids are just working hard”. I went to UWO for my Hon.BSc and then Toronto for my MSc research. At both schools, although there was a substantial asian student population, there was no representation on student government bodies. These groups help to obtain health care benefits for students, fair exam schedules, and other aspects of student life that ALL students benefit from. The asian students only participated in their own ethnic clubs. At U of T, you might as well roll the sidewalks up at 6pm because Canada’s largest university turns into a ghost town as soon as the students are done class. There is no sense of community there. As a teaching assistant during graduate school, I was also made aware of the number of these ethnic clubs reproducing unreleased exams and copies of old assignments. Many of the students can’t speak english proficiently enough and simply buy these to hand in. In fact, during TA meetings, were told “not to grade their papers too hard because English isn’t their first language”. Well too bad! If I went to school in Shanghai, I guarantee that they would fully expect me to be proficient in the language of instruction (as one should be). These students have no interest in intellectual/cultural exchange, developing their school’s community, and becoming citizens of the world. They only care about GPA. Now that I am in my senior year of dental school, there are classmates of mine that have spent the last 7+ years in the Canadian school system and can’t even speak to their patients to explain a treatment plan or obtain proper consent.

  123. The reason why Asians parents push their children to do well at school is because this is the only way they could be accepted by the mainstream society. Being Visible minority in Canada is not easy; because of our color, we often being identified as Chinese Canadian, Indian Canadian etc but the society/media do not call other “White” immigrant-Russian, Eastern European differently. Do people know that the Russian and Eastern European also are hardworkers and high achievers? So, why your your article only single out Asians? Again, I think because we are visible.

  124. We, Canadians, all tell our kids, don’t do drugs, stay in school. We encourage our kids to go to university, too. In many cases, a good job requires a degree. It does good to kids to go to university. What’s wrong with that?

    Do you wanna your kinds do drugs and get kicked out of school?

    How stupid the author is!

    I believe the author is a racist. The author is trying to blame asian people, using asian people as scapegoat, which has been done for many years under many situations.

  125. Well done. Way to paint the universities with their own single brush. We are trying to MOVE FORWARD now, Macleans. Most of us already holds these biases – I would think you should work on eliminating them. In this day and age, a little TOO blatant with the stereotypes, come now.

  126. to canadiangradstudent,seem u are not so brightto me u must be trying multiple times to be accepted at dentestry school otherwise why took master if u are smart with so called HON BSC why not get in to dentist undergraduate right away,so u are also one of the loser who resent with the success of your asian peer and looking for bullshit way to say others are not good enough to be there LOOOOOSSSEEEERRR

  127. Cangrad might do well not to inadvertently make the point of the person he criticizes.

  128. I won’t say the author is racist, but quite frankly, I suspect the author’s and the publisher’s motives. “Too many Asians”–says who?–a couple of racist people MacLeans found to comment? Why is this question being asked at all?

    As for details, in regards to UBC in particular, I work there, and the 40% number is not surprising to me. On the other hand, the article looks only at the city of Vancouver for an “Asian” representation, and thus concludes that “Asians” are over-represented at UBC. This ignores the fact that UBC takes in students from the surrounding municipalities, one of which (Richmond) has a reputation for being more than half “Asian.” Furthermore, the statistical data for Vancouver that the article uses is somewhat old; “white” people are a minority everywhere I look.

    And I like that.

    When was the last time anyone saw Chinese, Koreans, or Japanese in large numbers smoking pot, shooting cocaine, or engaged in the petty violent crime that whites do? The UBC fraternity shenanigans that saw two officers injured belong to a university culture that is eventually going to shrink as these WASP students are slowly reduced to the status of a minority.

    In short: I fail to understand why the question of “too many Asians” is being asked at all. The article’s claims that they are over-represented at UBC is overblown. To the extent that east Asians are proportionately better-represented in universities like UofT and UBC, I say that is a tribute to their study skills, cultural values, and work ethic.

    Finally, the fact is that the article conflates east Asian students who are studying on student visas with Canadians of east Asian ancestry. It is true that the former are taking spaces away from Canadians, including Asian Canadians, and that is because they are being used by the provincial government as a source of revenue. If MacLeans weren’t so busy engaging in what appears to be racist journalism, it could investigate that sort of question.

  129. Dear “Alexandra”,

    We didn’t want you here anyway. k thanks, bye.

    Love, U of T.

  130. Pingback: Anonymous

  131. I was in haste when I wrote my previous comment. Of course, there were two authors, not one.

    There’s no question that a huge part of the economy of UBC and Vancouver is tied up in overseas students from Asia; many people, from workers in the construction industry, to university instructors, owe their jobs to this. Is UBC reinvesting the profits from these students in the system so that more Canadians can be accepted? I don’t know, but if a hard-working Canadian graduates from school with an A average, I would assume that she or he has good chances of being accepted.

    I can’t help thinking that the title and article smack of the feel of racism. I’m not sure how the subtitle fits into this.

  132. Knowledge is power.
    Sir Francis Bacon, Religious Meditations, Of Heresies, 1597
    English author, courtier, & philosopher (1561 – 1626)

    education is the right.

  133. poster known as Scarborough:

    The article isn’t racist, the people interviewed for the article aren’t the brightest bunch though. Did you read the article? “alexandra and other white students” are upset that they have to compete in university because there are “TOO MANY ASIANS”, that’s a racially motivated comment. Why? Because alexandra could and should have said, “There are too many smart people at the university that I don’t feel I can compete with”, instead she linked a common stereotype with Asians, both international and Canadian citizens, claiming that basically because of ASIANS she can’t do anything or compete or whatever nonsense she was going on about.

  134. Education is the right for everyone.
    Nobody has the right to blame the students on their hard working hours in universities to earn a good mark or to pass the tests. Keep in mind, all these kids have to pay the tuition fee or pay back the OSAP.
    These students are Asian, African and European, South and North American, they are all CANADIAN, They will be our Doctors, Engineers, our financial analysts, etc, and they will provide us with their professional opinions for the public interests. Do you think these professional opinions will be based on “an easy university time”?
    Education is the Right for everyone, every student in High Schools/Colleges/ Universities has to study hard to write the exams, to acquire the knowledge, to acquire the way on how to acquire the knowledge to serve the public needs.
    Otherwise, these students will have to be kicked out of the university because of the failures on exams or have to pay more tuition on re-write these exams.

  135. I am so sick of the asian robots at UBC. All they do is go to class, eat their noodles, go back to class, go home, and study. Maybe throw some violin or piano in there too. Zero social life. We wouldn’t get so sick of them if they would come out to parties and have some fun, be an actual University student, not some nerd that has their nose in a book all day.

    I’m not racist to asians, I have many asian friends who are great but it’s because they come out with us white kids and have fun, they find a balance in their university life. The ones who study all day make the rest of us feel guilty for going out to party because at the end of the day we know it’s their grades we have to compete with for entrance into programs.

    I would be 100% for reducing the number of “robot” students that come to Canada’s top schools. Rather than basing entrance just on grades, set up an application process, what kind of clubs are you in, what do you do in your spare time etc. We want well rounded students in our schools, not students who only study and sleep.

  136. Seriously, did Macleans even need to go there with this article, pitting asians vs. “white kids” or even highlighting that “asians are the new jews”? No wonder no one reads Macleans.

  137. LOL As an Asian student, I am at once disgusted, intrigued, and amused by this article. Maclean’s, how low can you sink? I laughed out loud at the picture of the stereotypical Asian male with glasses, surrounded by a line of other Asians. That really completes the picture, Findlay and Kohler (authors of the article).

    If I had been confronted by the racist mother who told Mao that he took her son’s spot at a university, I would have given her a long speech on how to have manners. Seriously, it shouldn’t be a matter of races. If someone doesn’t want to party, who cares? If someone enjoys studying, who cares? Why does it matter to YOU? They don’t even affect you, so stop hating. If a Caucasian student were to study instead of party, nobody would be writing articles about them. It’s only because we’re Asian.

    How sad our society is! How pathetic of Macleans to publish this. I feel embarrassed for the authors who wrote this. This is plain garbage. It’s so ridiculous how there are 4 entire pages basically saying: Asian kids study too much, they should party like the White kids.

    HELLO??? Unless you’ve been living in a HOLE, you would notice that not ALL Asian kids prefer studying, and not all White kids prefer parties.

    I must say there is one thing true about the article, and that is the fact that MOST Asian kids work hard in school so they can get accepted into a good university. It is a part of who we are, where we come from. In Asia, there are huge populations. There is more competition amongst people to get into good schools, get good jobs, etc. When we immigrate here, our nature hasn’t changed. We are still competitive, we still want to achieve high goals.

    Ugh. I don’t even know what to say anymore. There is too much to say. I think this should be a live debate, but maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea. There would probably be some.. issues.

    JUST A NOTE TO MACLEAN’s:
    PLEASE DON’T EVER PUBLISH AN ARTICLE LIKE THIS AGAIN.

    TO THE AUTHORS:
    THIS INSULTS YOUR INTELLIGENCE. BE PREPARED, AS THERE WILL PROBABLY BE MUCH HATE COMING YOU WAY. HOW CAN PEOPLE BE SO MIND-LESS? SO IDIOTIC!

    phew. That’s all.

  138. I think this article is so insulting. Seriously Macleans, what were you thinking? Not all white kids go to university to party and not all asian kids study from sun up to sun down. Talk about generalizing, geez!

  139. Canadians who’ve been here for several generations of course want the social mobility that education affords for their children. But it would seem that the trials of immigration place a greater sense of urgency. It’s less of – Do what makes you happy – and more of – Go to school or you won’t have anything in your rice bowl tomorrow.

    Perhaps this will get me thrown out as biased/ predjudiced, but Asians, and most immigrant cultures generally place a very great premium on education. Logical if they were an immigrant selected on Canada’s point system which very much prefers immigrants with university qualifications. Better futures for their children is a leading reason for migration to begin with. Not going to uni is anywhere on the spectrum of a disappointment to NOT an option.

    Whether those Asians and Orientals, who are supposedly flooding
    Canadian campuses, are taking up ‘white’ spots, if they are citizens, and enrollment is based on merit, should colour matter? Criteria for internationals is different, so I will not comment there.

    The competition felt from students of any race should be impetus for just working harder

  140. Dave wrote:

    “I am so sick of the asian robots at UBC. All they do is go to class, eat their noodles, go back to class, go home, and study. Maybe throw some violin or piano in there too. Zero social life. We wouldn’t get so sick of them if they would come out to parties and have some fun, be an actual University student, not some nerd that has their nose in a book all day. I’m not racist to asians, I have many asian friends….”

    I’m sorry, Dave, but who are you to define what university life should be for others? When you don’t see people at parties, how can you be sick of them? If you had a strong sense of self-respect, you wouldn’t feel the need to compare yourself to others with whom you appear to have trouble competing.

  141. This is a really racist article, full of stereotypes about both white and Asian kids. I teach at a university, admittedly not a top-tier one, but Asians are among my worst, not best, students. The language barrier really slows them down. My best students are actually Canadian whites, and yes, some of them are of Jewish background. Would I say that Jews are generally smarter, while Anglo-Franco-Canadians are generally not? No, I wouldn’t. That would be racist, and I really do not believe that would be the case.
    So, really, why generalize? Why sensationalize the issue? The real issue, if you ask me, is the steady loss of hard-working study ethics that characterized earlier generations. These days, it’s not just whites who privilege partying over studying; it’s just about everyone else as well, including your Mandarin-speaking computer geeks. Most kids want to get something (a degree) for nothing, or with very little effort, and Asians are no exception.

  142. This article is bullshit. I’m Asian and I found this article very stereotypical. Not every single ASian in the world studies all day and has no social life. I’m a student in the IB program and I will admit that my parents pushed me to apply, but just because I look like an Asian, I go to an Asian program and get good marks it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to go to university and make friends and party.

  143. @Ashley: It’s true that not all Asians study all day and have no social life, but you HAVE to admit that it’s somewhat true that there are schools that Asians tend to apply to vs schools that non-Asians apply to. They don’t call Waterloo FOBERLOO for nothing.

  144. This is exactly where Canadian multiculturalism breaks down. Immigrants are allowed to be different in so far as they eat their ethnic food and dress up in their exotic costumes for festive occasions. But when real difference comes out—in how people interact or choose to live their lives—then it becomes an issue, it becomes a threat to Canadian liberal values and a target for criticisms by narrow-minded people like “Alexandra” or the angry mom from the article.

    But in relation to the UofT, the article might have a point, though not that UofT is “too Asian”–which is a racist statement no matter how you look at it–but that the UofT too eagerly recruits international students who are not adequately prepared to be educated in English language. For the university, they are cash cows because they pay much higher tuition than Canadian nationals, which obviously creates stimuli for being lenient when considering overseas admission applications and assessing international students’ proficiency in English.
    As a graduate student at UofT, I am teaching tutorials and sometimes I am appalled how bad English of some international students is and I truly wonder how they could get admitted if they can write only in remotely comprehensible sentences. Being self-conscious of their English, such students never speak in class either, but sometimes would come up to me in the end and clarify what was actually the point of what we were talking about in the tutorial for an hour. No wonder such students don’t mingle outside of their ethnic groups—it would be linguistically frustrating for all parties involved. I don’t mean this as a criticism of those international students but rather of greed-driven UofT recruitment policies, which create this situation in the first place.

  145. This article confirms once again that Canadian society is one that is silently discriminatory against all those who are visible minorities. Given the White, privileged backgrounds of the authors, I actually not at all surprised by their cultural stereotypes and racist remarks about Asian students. Indeed, what I see is a sense of entitlement from mainstream Canadians. Initially, Asian immigrants and students were seen as admirable because of the so-called “model minority” stereotype of being hardworking and self-directed – assigned to us by maintstream Canadians. However, as Asians become greater competition to White students for spots in universities and the workforce, mainstream Canadians suddenly refer to them as “robotic, quiet, and out of place.”

    As an individual from an immigrant family, I have worked hard all my life to overturn all stereotypes placed upon me by the Canadian majority. I am a twenty-something-year-old who just completed my Masters of Education at UofT. I have fine social skills, am well-spoken, and I always try my best to model the character traits of hardwork and integrity for my Grade Six students. Asian students are such high-achievers simply because we have too much to lose. Our parents left their places of origins so that we may have greater opportunities for quality education and socio-economic success. Perhaps, instead of questioning whether Canadian post-secondary institutions are overly Asian, the authors and others who support this article should reflect upon how their own sense of entitlement has failed them and led them to fall behind their Asian counter-parts. For the sake of equity and diversity – values that our Canadian government promote – we should instead be asking “WHY DOESN’T THE FACULTY AND ADMINSTRATIVE STAFF NOT REFLECT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE STUDENT POPULATION AT UNIVERSITIES SUCH AS UOFT AND WATERLOO?”

    I am so sick of the perpetual double-standard for Whites and non-Whites in all areas of life. If leading national magazines continue to publish such racist and meaningless articles, Canada will never become the harmonious nations we Canadians believe it to be.

  146. I’ll only note the contradiction regarding the Left’s attitude toward the performance gap between Asians and whites, on the one hand, and whites and blacks/hispanics/etc. on the other.

    The gap between Asians and whites is due to the stronger families and culture and work ethic of the Asian minority. Oh, and it might even prove they’re smarter, too. Whites have no right to expect the government to rectify the situation.

    The gap between whites and blacks is pure, de facto proof of racism. The government must fix it, via quotas, affirmative action, etc.

  147. An article like this is long-overdue. Thank you Macleans for raising the discussion.

    One point that should be cleared up is regarding international Asian students and socializing. The idea that these Asian students are socially awkward simply isn’t true. They aren’t awkward among themselves. They may, however, be awkward when they try to socialize with Canadians. It’s more of a language issue than anything else.

    Also, Canadians do not nearly make enough effort to make Asian international students feel welcome. This isn’t intentional, but Canadians too feel awkward when an international student without solid English skills tries to reach out.

    It’s an issue on both sides. We have to stop blaming international Asians for being awkward when Canadians are awkward around international students themselves.

  148. It’s pretty obvious white people are looking to blame others for their own stupidity. It’s even more stupid that it’s not the kids who are starting this controversy. The kids are more mature than the parents in this, especially the mother who thought to blame the asian boy for her son’s failures. She clearly needs to see a therapist.
    It’s like saying since black folks are great at basketball and take up all the spots on the teams, should we limit them to playing the game?
    It is ridiculous to suggest limiting hardworking students from the universities because of their race, it goes everything our nation stands for.

  149. As I post my response to this article, I am mad at myself because I know that this incendiary piece was published in the hopes that it would be sensationalized and, in turn, drive readers to this site. Any press is good press, right?

    Where to begin…

    As a Filipino who has graduated from Queen’s University, I am in awe of this article. I am not Chinese, but I am Asian. I was not born in Canada but I grew up in Vancouver from the time I was two. I come from a traditional family that is tight-knit and believes in hard work and future success through academic achievement. I took top honours in every class I took and made my way through school based on a mixture of academic scholarships and grants and financial support from my family. I also am extremely socially active having been president of my first year university class and a Political Science student department representative; I participated in several on and off campus clubs (volleyball, choir, debate, model UN, etc.) and I went to the bars and pancake breakfasts alongside my fellow students, getting drunk on keg stands and cheap shooters.

    I am the example of a smart yet well adjusted PERSON and I am not alone. I surround myself with like-minded people. Asian and white alike. The fact that this article finds it fit to perpetuate racism under the guise of investigative journalism is saddening. It is an example of our society regressing; people finding a visibly/culturally different group of people to blame for their shortcomings. What makes it OK for someone to say that they will not choose to go to a university because it’s “too asian” then to go on and have the gall to insist that it has nothing to do with racism? Racism is any prejudice born of ignorance. This “aritzia billboard” looking student who opens the article is so ignorant of the fact that the Asian populace enjoys fun just as much as the rest of the country and so can “get good grades and have fun [doing it]” that it plays a factor in her decision of where to go for a higher education – this is a classic case of racism!

    That any article would so willingly and blatantly seek to solidify racial stereotypes by including select quotes from students both Asian and non-Asian as well as school officials, junior psychology professors, etcetera is deeply disturbing and this article stands as a black mark on Canadian journalism as a whole.

  150. I don’t think people here understand independent school culture, especially schools with boarding. It doesn’t matter, though, since we’re a very small group of people who apparently are spoiled brats because our parents are paying approximately $25K a year for our education (day students) and around $40something for boarders.

  151. As if this is actually being posed as a ‘problem’. Ethnicity doesn’t have an affect on someone’s intelligence, this is a joke.

  152. What does race have to do with hard work?

  153. Shame on you Maclean’s. This is an excellent example of a poorly written and researched article that pretends to be a piece of proper journalism but is actually underlined with absolute racism. It’s extremely hard to take this piece seriously when it’s full of fallacies and false assumptions, and does not even give due-diligence to fully research the entire spectrum of issues that surround Asians and their assimilation into Canadian culture.

    There is a serious racial problem if this sentiment reflects how “white” people feel about Asian Canadians, or immigrants for that matter. I would like think that our generation has progressed to the point where there is complete transparency when it comes to understanding between different cultures and ethnicities. But this article just smells of FEAR. It’s amazing that the authors have decidedly categorized whites into the alcohol-schmoozing socialites, and Asians into the sheltered one-track-minded study-bugs, and has forgotten about the large percentage of people in-between that fit neither polarized description. What about Asians born in Canada, who grew up exactly in the same environmental conditions as their white, Canadian neighbours? What about Asians who are into politics and philosophy but not maths and sciences? And what about the culture clash that children of immigrant parents must deal with? What about the social differences (and issues) between Canadian-born Asians and recent Asian immigrants? There are so many other factors surrounding professional decisions for Asian kids that are simply not fully addressed in this article, making it empty, shallow and just plain rude. I see single-sided quotations and a listing of remarks from other Asian Canadians that are laced with a complex that sees whites and Canadian-born Asians more “social” (and in this sense superior) than immigrants. We should discuss that issue too, don’t you think?

    It doesn’t matter what race you are to know how to think independently and make critical decisions for yourself. For someone to not choose a university because it is seemingly “too Asian” is stupid on their part. If they cared about their education they would choose the university that suits their academic and social needs, not just for a social factor. Otherwise, they shouldn’t be attending university. Maybe we should also discuss the private school move to Queens and McGill and that social segregation? Maybe we should also discuss how a lot of people are turning their heads away from those schools because of notorious bratty behaviour of their students. Oops, wait. Did I just say that? That is clearly an unfounded statement. But so not unlike half of this article!

    Whites, you too, should be offended. You are not worthy of the label of being smart and hard-working, according to this article. Only Asians! If white people (and any other races, for that matter) are not taking opportunities to make the most of their high school and university education, then is it up to the Asians to give way to let them have an easier, more social time? Absolutely not. You enter university based on your own merit and desire, that’s it. This IS a complete non-issue.

    Ridiculous.

  154. Asian kids dominating Campus, libraries, positively, I believe Its a good sign for other nations/parents, its the time to catch up now, and do your the hardest. otherwise, you will soon become minority. Maclean – don’t bullshit around and fool our kids. campus is not for socializing network. knowledge is the key and only power to make our life better.

  155. Strongly agree! Send them back on the boat! There all robots and if they are over here I will have nobody to make my Happy Meal toys; they can work hard making those instead.

  156. Suppose that there were a growing subculture of students of all races — let’s call these students nerds — who decided to study very hard, and cut down on the socializing, or maybe socialize only with other self-identified nerds. Suppose that some campuses were becoming nerdier, with majorities or large minorities of students who are nerds. (MIT comes to mind.) Would this have the same newsworthiness? Would there be the same alarmism? Would there be an article about the fact that some campuses have gotten too nerdy? Somehow, the fact that these allegedly over-studying under-partying students are *Asian*, and not just nerds, seems to matter here. And *that* suggested that there’s some hidden racism among the allegedly racism-free worries and concerns.

  157. Well maclean do u want people who are run our country like today who get the position base on colour and patronizing not by knowlege but by sosializing when problem occur have to call consulton to solve it no wonder we are not able we are defisit even we are rich with resource.Stupid manegement tend to hire stupid people couse if he hire smart one,then he will take over his position,so only stupid ones that have to watch couse his job are number WE are going to replace them with the SMART ONE WHO ARE BEST HA hah

  158. I am Asian and my parents have taught me the value of a good education. Education, where I come from, is a privilege. Many cannot even afford to go to elementary school. It surprises me that parents and these students (who are now by the way adults) would have this kind of thinking in selecting post-secondary institutions. No race is academically better than the other. It is the person’s individual attitude towards education and hard work that measures success. I am very ashamed that this kind of thinking still exists in the education system. These students are the future of the Canada’s (and/or the world) economy and we’re still allowing this form of thinking as parents, educators and students? Don’t you all remember what started WWII and what November 11 (which was not even a week ago) is all about? If you value the money you spent on tuition fees, your education, your future and most importantly, yourself. You’ll be more concerned about getting an excellent quality education rather than too many Asians are attending a school.

  159. Congrats Stephanie Findlay and Nicholas Kohler, you are officially racists. I thought you both did a good job hiding it, for the most part, but the comments section makes it clear that others saw right through your thin veil of journalism. While you are a little late on the yellow-peril alarmism, I think you managed to catch the spirit of it nonetheless. Kudos. If you are interested in stepping outside your own comfort bubble, you might like to try researching your next article. I know that many people find it hard to do even a surface ammount of research, so I’ll suggest an easy read that is readily available: See . Will your next endeavor be a celebration of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party?

  160. I’ve been reading a few responses and many say that university shouldn’t be about socializing but about education. I believe any educational institution strives not only to educate but to socialize people.

    A person can be the smartest on this earth, but if they don’t know how to socialize, how could they ever survive?

    I feel as a Canadian, Canadian’s should get priority to our universities- so if your an Asian or white or any other nation of canadian, then you deserve the chance to get into any university you choose, above people from other geogrpahic areas.

  161. Well, the article does attempt to say what a number of Westerners are thinking…

    But it’s disappointing to see that there is a lack of attempt on understanding Asian culture. You don’t understand how hard it is to grow up in an Asian family/culture.

    From my experience and observation, on a general note, most Asians grow up in a culture where they are never enough. They’ve never received a compliment until they actually did accomplish something. The reputation of the family is on your back from birth and you can’t just be good enough. You have to be great, and even if you are great, there’s still room to be better.

    When they study, the origin of that intensity and focus is often cultivated at a very young age, to building their self-esteem and their self-worth. Socially awkward? Not with one another. But socially awkward when clashing with Westerners? Well think about it, a culture of modesty and not the most developed egos meets a culture with developed egos and confidence. How can you relate?

    Typically, an Asian child is born with the immediate assumption of being accountable for the family, to him or herself, and to the future. This is often very firmly implemented. Neither person, Asian or not, can take on that responsibility without developing the ethic of hard work or, I suppose in other scenarios, drugs, drinking, rebellion.

    Now Western culture: individualism, and hence, often, self-entitlement. But on the other side, you have to earn whatever entitlement you’re aiming for. And often, earning it isn’t for yourself, or your name. How often do you see Asians grabbing for the spotlight, wanting to showcase their accomplishments or strut their stuff? They seek the entitlement, often, for their family, for their community, and then for themselves, and thus, not solely, to look good to strangers.

    And why is it that, stereotypically, when they are seen as un-social, hardworking people, they are presumed to be a kind of robot; a type of flaw, if you will? They made a sacrifice in the social aspect, to be lonely, misunderstood, and even sometimes a bit of suffering because many of them probably don’t always like studying when they’re studying, in order to cultivate the academic aspect. While over here, the problem seems to be that Canadians/Americans want to give up a part of the academic aspect for the social aspect…and then complain about the lonelier folk?

    Sure, you can socialise, but if you don’t understand where they’re coming from, what they’re handling, they’ll be okay. The thing is, they’re all doing okay without having to touch the “Canadian/American” side; without having to interfere in any direct or intentional way. What aren’t the Canadians/Americans? They’re not out there to steal your spotlight. They’re just working hard for themselves and one another.

    And do some of them do actually end up closed, and awkward? What did you expect? You feel insignificant for a fifth or more or all of your life.

    Above that, I argue this isn’t a West vs. East problem. It’s a generational problem. I’m confident to believe that university students were the same as Asian are now generations before in North America or Europe for that matter: hard working, and equally intense. Students would actively discuss academics with one another; live and breathe it. But now, school and studying is rather independent and private to each student, and socialisation is about anything but study topics. I don’t think blunt efforts on socialising activities is the first step because it takes a lot of mutual understanding, a lot of learning. I believe the problem stems from not having a common ground, and when you’re in a university setting, why not school? Learn together. University students don’t do enough learning together. That’s the problem. And haven’t you noticed? Asian kids often do. This is rather a reflection on the changing academic culture of Western schools, not the problem of too many Asians. Asians kept the tradition of universities alive – academic rigour that is supposed to exhaust you and pressure people to drop out because academia is supposed to be hard in order to be valuable. People are supposed to fail out because universities are supposed to be difficult. They weren’t supposed to cater to fairness. They were supposed to cater to greatness, and I mean that in all senses of the word. This isn’t new to Western culture; it’s how it started.

  162. When I first read the article, I got all emotional and uncomfortable with the fact that a national magazine such as Macleans would publish an article like this. Then after each paragraph, I realized that people who fear competition, and are subjects of their own laziness are people who would fall back on race in order to blame others for their own failures.

    I take this article as monumental for Asians (since it’s mentioned in every other sentence) and say that we are finally being recognized as those who can get into those top universities, and also those who are willing to work hard to earn a successful future.

    For those who want to have fun, regardless of race or what school you go to, the clubs will still be open on the weekends and having fun will not end with school.

    In the end, I live by these words….

    “There’s no News in the Truth, and no Truth in the News”

  163. Long live mertitocracy – Down with eliticism

    So if all this is somehow true – that the % of asians students is higher in top end Universities across the country – and nobody seems to be saying it is a matter of racial DNA but rather the “contentious issue of merit – then the conclusion must be that that some cultures are more meritorious (superior) than other. Yes? No? Verboten to compare merit of cultures? Well nobody would disagree that the culture of the Sisters if Carmel who run Covenant House is superior to that of an outlaw bike gang. Why not speak about broader cultures that way? Too politically incorrect?

    Or is it simply the notion that North American concept of University is a time of drinking and socializing – a coming of age period. Well, 37 years ago despite being a top level high school student (in maths, sciences and the all the arts – and yes sports too) of asian background I decided not to go to university for that very reason – far too juvenile for me. Not a place for exercising one’s intellectual or social freedom. The article and the responses confirm that time at University is a place for conformity – one way or the other. How sad.

    And how did that work out for me – bailing on higher education? Maintained two careers – successful serial entrepreneur and a social activist. Retired before 50 to become a full-time volunteer. University is not the place where young people make their chops either by studying hard or socializing and making social network connections for the future. Time at university is far over-rated. Undoubtedly the authors, the editors and publishers of the article are university products – And the commentators too. How rich and insightful is their dialogue? What does it contribute to the society? I suspect nothing at all.

    Okay, maybe a little, the advertising department gets to tell the advertisers that the readership # numbers are on the increase and that in itself keeps MacLeans relevant on the Canadian media scene. Give you that. Long live circulation and readership numbers. But advertisers – always check with the ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation). They exist for good reason.

  164. Stop confusing causation with correlation. One’s race does not dictate his or her intelligence. Personally I think it’s hard work, dedication, and other instilled values one has which determines their marks. Yes, I do believe some are naturally smarter than others, but to imply that ‘Asians’ in general are smarter than ‘Whites’ as a whole is an incorrect generalization.

    As for overseas Asian students.. perhaps they work so hard because of the intense competition they face in their own country? e.g. India or China. Canada’s population is roughly 33 million whereas China’s is 1.3 billion. Wouldn’t it be expected for them to work hard?

  165. You can complain these Asians taking you or your sons spots. And when these Asians graduate they get a job same as your college son’s level because of office racism, pay same taxes to raise lazy people in the country (most of them are whites, I guess?), and are only able to communicate with Asians.

    How about this, we can let those Asians do the same jobs their father or grandpa did before, opening convenient stores, doing cheap labor jobs, staffing at McDonalds, and etc. You will be happy by that because you think those are the jobs for Asians right? I guarantee this article will not exist by any chance if we go back to 1930s when Mackenzie King charges head tax for Chinese.

  166. ” Andy Jam says:
    November 15, 2010 at 1:31 am
    Strongly agree! Send them back on the boat! There all robots and if they are over here I will have nobody to make my Happy Meal toys; they can work hard making those instead.”

    They’re…not “There”. No wonder you agree with the article, you can’t even use words in the right context.

  167. This is not China.
    This is Canada.
    Multiculturalism in Canada was adopted as the official policy . Canadian university should reflect this.
    So if your classuniversity has 50-80% of people from same ethnic group mean that something wrong with diversity.
    Multiculturalism is the acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures (not Asian only).
    Our universities should never have classes that have 60-80% from same ethnic group (in our case Chinese unless this is mandarin class).

  168. If the authors of this article had gone to UofT, they would have learned that ‘born out’ is an all-too-common misspelling of the phrase ‘borne out’.

    But I suppose they would rather party. Well then, party on!

  169. I resent the fact that when referring to “whites” the word canadian was used. Canadian is everyone white, asian, brown, black born in Canada. And those who immigrate or seek refuge here. with that in mind i would like to thank macleans for this article. It is a legitimate issue in students deciding where to go for university. Canada is a diverse place and that is what makes it so great. I don;t think there should ever be any decision made on admissions due to the race of a person. But peoples concerns in going to a university dominated by asians is legitimate. As a canadian, yes i want a good education but i also want to have fun at university and meet DIFFERENT kinds of people from everywhere. With asian dominated schools i believe they go there for some of the same reasons people don;t go there. I find that generally asians can be very cliquey and its understandable given the culture divide. I also find most asians are overally into studious activities (generally) but i have good friends who are able to balance both (and are asian) and are very outgoing and fun people. But i sadly say the vast majority of asians i have met are not like that. I almost find them rude at times (at least the ones ive met!) Having all this in mind if they work the hardest they deserve to go wherever they want to go and if you don’t want to go to a school because of asians thats your problem they will still get amazing grades and go where they want to go and no one should ever think about restricting that simply because of their race thats absurd.

  170. To all you poking at macleans for this article. Have you heard of journalistic freedom? I think it is a legitimate article there is nothing slanderous its simply putting out an issue that we all know about and that people consider! Personally think its a great article

  171. Study: Parents’ education affects kids
    January 29, 2007

    A Canadian study finds children of parents who have not completed high school are more likely to struggle with reading and writing.
    http://www.physorg.com/news89313919.html

    According to research, your own educational level will affect your kids’ achievement at school.

    Immigrants with higher education level are accepted to Canada. it’s not a surprise that their kids are more successful at school.

    Asian kids as well as some White kids are successful both academically and socially. They work hard and play hard.

    If some kids couldn’t handle both, you can’t blame other kids being successful just because they came from Asia.

  172. I was glad to see this topic brought to light. However, I do question the authors’ motive behind it. The fact that they based this feature on anonymous sources shows that any journalist who wants to write about any topic can have it substantiated anonymously: a fact that has kept supermarket tabloid publishers laughing as they line their coffers with our gullibility. This article also shows the lack of journalistic integrity from the editor and publisher of Maclean’s for printing it, for anyone who disagrees with raising academic standards in our universities lacks basic critical analysis of our education system.

    Let’s look at this topic from two different angles: academic standards and social interaction. First of all, academic standards in North America are below other OECD countries. Imagine, for a minute, that our universities are inundated with students from Scandinavian countries. These mostly blond and blue-eyed students are more competitive, work harder and generally possess better university entrance requirements. What would happen here? Would we blame our universities for accepting them because local students are less educated, or seize the opportunity to raise the bar in our secondary education system so we can be more prepared to compete at a global level? Which of these two options would Maclean’s then explore as feature topic? Isn’t it then foolish to consider otherwise because this article points at Asian students? In Canada, we used to segregate First Nations students because they did not meet our standards. So we forced them to speak, learn and behave like us to the detriment of their own existence. As our history has showed, forcing people to be like us has not meant we allow them to become us. The only exception for allowing others to join us has been when they look like us; only then have we acknowledged their abilities and knowledge.

    Then there is the problem of social interaction within academia. The “Asian” students the article refers to span the whole spectrum of all Asians: those already live, work and study in the same places as we do; the descendants of Asians who built our national infrastructure before Confederation; recent arrivals who were educated abroad. As with all people who wish to advance their socio-economic status, education is therefore is highly valued. However, we seem to think of all Asians as recent arrivals because they look different than we do – so we treat them like unwanted guests in our home. Caucasian students often make little effort to integrate Asians to campus life, but that’s no different from holding a block party without inviting your Asian neighbours then blaming them for not being willing to integrate.

    For generations, Asians in Canada have already known how to function within our cultural framework. They know how Canadian society thinks, how it acts and what it values. How else would they flourish despite such adverse attitudes towards them as demonstrated throughout our own history? The advantage for Asians is the fact that they have survived without any efforts being made by Caucasian Canadians to integrate them into their realm. In fact, what efforts were made in the past were mainly to create systemic barriers for segregation. Fortunately, most of these barriers have been abolished and many Asians are now able to work hard and make important contributions to our society.

    Unfortunately, this article was written on the premise that all Asians are the same. Because they are not Caucasian, the value they place on higher education standards is perceived as having a negative impact because non-Asian students find it difficult to compete with them. What would it take, then, for us to seize the opportunity to integrate Asian students as if they were well-educated Scandinavians, so we can all elevate our academic standards and enrich our social fabric in this global economy?

  173. Asians seem to be great at test taking, studying, and following orders, copying, and doing product extenders. But, for all there good grades and high test scores they don’t seem to be creative at all. Yet, because they get good grades and many degrees they are now being put in charge of laboratories and various government research departments. In the long run this will destroy innovation because not only are they not innovative or creative they don’t even understand that they aren’t. They think copying, mimicing, and making product extenders (i.e. making a better TV set and not actually inventing the concept) is innovation. It’s not. Asians taking over so many of the top jobs in scientific fields in the West is going to bring in a scientific Dark Ages in the West. That may be counterintuitive to people who associate high GPA’s and studying 16 hours a day with creative scientific thought. But, Western culture and the geniuses that were the true innovators were rarely academic grinds and academic grunts. Rather, they were Thinkers who were interested in inventions and ideas and not simply on academic competition. The Asian Invasion is the beginning of the Scientific Dark Ages for the West.

  174. “This is not China.
    This is Canada.
    Multiculturalism in Canada was adopted as the official policy . Canadian university should reflect this.
    So if your classuniversity has 50-80% of people from same ethnic group mean that something wrong with diversity.
    Multiculturalism is the acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures (not Asian only).
    Our universities should never have classes that have 60-80% from same ethnic group (in our case Chinese unless this is mandarin class).”

    Your logic is stupid…So because something is in Canada is has to have a balance of races. If your local grocery store only has white people working, they should have an asian,black, and brown as well right?

  175. I COMPLETELY agree with Claudine. This article is written within a racist ideological discourse, and just because it is representing itself as “liberal”, does not mean that it does not fit within inferential racism (over arching argument of the article is that “Asians” are a problem). The authors of this article should read a bit more Stuart Hall (The Whites of their Eyes), Tuen A. Van Dijk (Discourse and the Denial of Racism), and Edward Said (“Crisis” in Orientalism)!

  176. What if we replaced every instance of the word “Asian” with “Black?” Would this article still not be considered racist?

  177. And Tom, you need to read more and stop watching movies made my Americans. Wow, our world is in a sad sad state.

  178. Tom I think you are idiot U shoud read history WE Asian Inventing more than your ancestor I think U are moron.

  179. To TOM: how can you say that the general Asian population “don’t seem to be creative at all”? Do you have prove? Do you have data? No. You are stereotyping and that, my friend, is DISGUSTING.

  180. An added note to Tom: “Western culture and the geniuses that were the true innovators were rarely academic grinds and academic grunts.” You are obviously implying that Westerners are smarter-is this really the case? Can you say this about every Westerner? No! That’s an absurd idea. There are “dumb” and “smart” people in EVERY race. Stop stereotyping Asians and accusing them of being uncreative and not innovative. Also, I don’t know a single Asian who studies “16 hours a day”. That’s not even an exaggeration anymore. It’s just plain ridiculous and makes you sound unintelligent and uneducated.

  181. Tom, You know nothing about Asians and/or their history. Thinking about the 4 great inventions by ancient China that had enormous impacts on the world, compass, gunpowder, papermaking and printing–how creative they are. Yoga is another proven creativity by Asians.

  182. waa waa, mommy I can’t go into university because the Asian kids are not drinking enough beers and smoking pots.

  183. I’m not Canadian, and I’m neither white nor Asian, but having lived here 4 years, I think this article is way overdue.

    How Can there be any doubt that Asians integrate poorly into Canadian society? As an outsider, I can never relate to other Asian students, who comprise maybe 70% of my class.

    It’s not just because they cluster together into their own groups (every ethnic group does that)…it’s that they don’t know how to deal with ‘other’ people (white or indian or jewish or what have you). I can’t approach an Asian person and have a ‘normal’ conversation with them.

    I’ve heard lots of discussions about Muslims not integrating well into Western society, but in my experience, most Muslims I’ve come across were far, far easier to relate to than Asians, even the religious ones.

    Of course, that’s not to say that I hate Asians or that I don’t have Asian friends (I can think of at least 5)…and I do confront them with this issue. It’s just that Asians here seem to be brought up to be different…they seem to be instructed not to socialize with other ethnic groups, and I think this issue needs to be tackled.

    I’m not saying impose quotas on them or anything stupid like that…just that Asian families should try to integrate better into society. I really wish Asians were more socially adept, I’d have more friends!

  184. I am an instructor in a popular undergraduate program at U of T. I have taught 7 sections of around 45-55 students over the last couple years. I have not yet taught a class for which more than 5 of these students were NOT of “visible” Asian ethnicity. I would estimate about half of the Asian ethnicity group are native Canadians and (naturally) seem to be quite integrated into domestic language and culture. The other half are very recent immigrants or international students, speak shockingly little English and seem to interact primarily among themselves.

    So two thoughts…
    1. While I don’t know that quotas are the solution, it doesn’t seem to make sense even in an incredibly diverse city like Toronto for 80%+ of undergrad classrooms to be of visible Asian minority (make that majority).
    2. The diversity issue at places like U of T may be more driven by the admission of a high volume of non-English speaking immigrants or international students, most of whom happen to come from Asia.

  185. seems some people want to get into top school with lazyness. I did not know my professors, either white, black, or yellow, can get their PHD, without hardworking.

    Lazy people you do not deserve good education, because you just lazy!

    top university is about smartness, hard working. if you do not have both, and you want to eliminate Asian from top university because you are stupid and lazy, I am sorry that is racism.

  186. This was a horribly written article with a giant lack of legitimate research to back it up. The authors should switch to tabloid writing

  187. The first comment nails it on the head. It’s fine to discriminate against white people in favour of other races, but god forbid any other race gets discriminated against!
    Will Asians be the new group arguing against ‘affirmative action?’ I guess it was fine 30 years ago when it was benefiting them…

  188. Nick, did you even read the article? I doubt it. As it clearly states, Canadian Universities, unlike their American counterparts, have never used affirmative action, relying on merit alone.

  189. Omar, well some Asians may have harder time interacting with people of other races. However, this does not apply to other Asians-certainly not the Asians I know.

  190. This article is bias.
    It focuses on what the caucasians think about going to school with asians. They feel that the competition is too high and they wont have enough time to party. Maybe they should realise that going to university ISNT about partying with your friends and getting drunk. Granted, it is a period in your life in which socialization is important to explore your capabilities and find lofe long friends. University is a place in which you prepare for a future. Maybe going to school with ‘over achieving’ asians will teach you to focus more on studies. This article leads to the assumption that asians never party, never have time to socialize which is not true at all.
    Also, upon talking to many professors, I learned that most of the top people in the class are super smart white kids.
    being an asian, it is impossible to look at this article without feeling discriminated against

  191. The way any person communicates depends on the way they have been treated by outsiders and also how they’ve been brought up. I’m asian, and i feel that i used to have the same problem with some people of other races, such as African Americans and Caucasians. That was only because i had not met many in my life, and i tended to generalize them with stereotypes. I know this is wrong, and ih ave recently moved to a new school and am able to have frequent communication with people of these backgrounds. I find that the more you get to socialize, you become more accepting of other racial groups. Now i dont even feel that there is no difference between my friends that are asians, caucasians, africans, etc.
    The major problem i think would be stereotypes and generalization of races.

  192. Alexandra and rachel are snobby bitches from one of the top private schools in Ontario averaging about $25k a year. They probably dont even need to find a proper job; all they need is daddy to pay for everything.

  193. Pingback: maysie » Blog Archive » The original Maclean’s article

  194. The number of Asian students might be unbalanced . However, it is not an excuse for any of us who are Asian or white students to make in order to explain our failure. Blaming Asian students for the leak of degrees is very unreasonable and childish. Stop acting like cowards. So , you white students are afraid of challenges? We worked hard for our degrees, and we deserve them. Your failure is your fault , not others.

  195. one more thing..
    Does it mean in order to balance the number of races in university, we Asian should play with you white students to bring down our good grades? Some once said we Asian students study more than you guys.
    The statement of the leak of degree for you guys is very selfish.

  196. For years, asians and blacks have complained that there are too many whites in our schools, our media, our governments, our institutions, you name it. These same race-peddlers have been hiding behind “multi-culturalism” and “diversity” to express their bigoted views. And when whites complain about too many asians at their schools, the howls of “racism’ come out fast and furious. What hypocrites.

  197. Excuse me, RB Foster, but I just wanted you to know that that is perhaps the most racist thing I’ve ever read. I don’t know a single Asian or African-American who complains that schools are “too white”. Nobody is hiding behind “diversity”-that is just insulting. Race shouldn’t matter. Nobody chooses what race they are, what gender they are, or any such factors. We are born into the world the way we are, so everybody should accept ALL races.

  198. Let me just say this: I’m not even from Canada, and this is one of the most racist pieces of writing that I have ever read. I understand that you two as journalists are reporting facts and news in society. But – really consider what you are saying. You are blatantly telling the whole world that people who are NOT asian don’t want to go to the same school and be in the same place as ASIAN people. You wouldn’t say that’s not even a LITTLE bit racist? It seems like you’re even applauding the fact that Alexandra chose NOT to go simply due to the fact that many ASIANS attended that school. Is this REALLY not even racist? I’m a student who attends a top 20 university in the United States planning to major in journalism and this is the most ridiculous piece of writing I’ve ever seen. What’s wrong with working hard and excelling in school and getting an education – the FOUNDATION towards future success? It’s statically proved that people with higher education earn more and live a more comfortable life than those who don’t. So please don’t waste your time writing a 4 page article condemning the Asian student population for working their butts off to have a decent shot at life down the road. If you guys aren’t writing about blacks, hispanics and native americans, then you SHOULDN’T BE WRITING ABOUT ASIAN PEOPLE EITHER. Jeez!

  199. ^I completely agree with J. The article is saying that ALL ASIANS are socially-awkward with people of other races. This is definitely NOT true! All of the Asians I personally know hang out with people from every race, so don’t stereotype, please.

  200. Every one take a deep breath. Canadians hold dearly the idea of free discourse in the media. You may not like what is being said, however you have a duty as a citizen to respect it for what it is worth. Read it, think about it and discard it to the pile of rhetoric in your back yard if you like but dont jump to the conclusion that its not worth trying to say simply becuse you think the message is unpleasent.

    A note to the post from “J” I think you should re-read the article, you seem to be missing some key pieces. As a journalist student I expect a far more open mind. Maybe you could take the premise of this article and refute it with your own look at the issue.

  201. As I am sure this offends many, (as seen above) I found it quite interesting to read.

    I am not sure I agree this is racist. I think of it more like a socio cultural look at the effect of multiculturalism. What we have here is the stresses that are bound to occur when people of different value sets come together.

    Westerners do tend to see university as a well round experience. Socializing and Academia being equally met and explored. Some go to extremes with keg parties and such but I have been told one can learn much hanging over the edge of a toilet bowl the next morning. Not sure exactly what that lesson is but to each their own.

    Asians and others do tend to put far more regimented focus on their education. I recall a study that pointed out the highest suicide rates among students was found in China.

    These are all generalizations. And from my personal experiences I have seen some of my Asian friends drunker than some of western friends. There is no sweeping brush that can paint all people one way or another. But there are statistics.

    I do have friends that look for Asian influenced schools. Not because it is racist but because they can better understand the expectations and feel more comfortable. And some of my Western friends do the same, seeking out their comfort areas.

    One a small scale this seems acceptable but it is said that it results in the polarization of our so called multicultural system.
    Perhaps quotas would be of benefit.

    Martin Luther King supported the idea of having equal integration. He believed that a people could not find equal success with “Separate but equal” Acts because one party would inherently be treated lesser than another.

    This creates a real debate. When people self separate should the law step in to insure inclusion? How successful is Multiculturalism in Canada? Do “Educational Ghettos” benefit or detract from the growth of the individual and Canada as a whole?

    I personally have mixed feelings but will not label this all as racist because it makes me feel uncomfortable to recognize a growing situation.

    Reporters are to present all sides of an argument. I believe that was accomplished. Articles are to cause us to dig deep and think… I think that was accomplished.

    The wonderful thing about an internet article or even one published on paper…. you can always turn the page.

  202. In 1965 the U.S. passed the 1965 Immigration Action which was pushed through by Sen. Ted Kennedy. This is what Senator Kennedy said in 1965 “First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same…. Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset…. Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think…. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

    Kennedy lied. All of the above came true.

    The same thing has happened to Canada since it expanded immigration.

    Many universities now make all classes in a particular subject take tests at the same time and day (cheating is rampant among Hindus). This cheating and neopotism is then brought into the workplace after they get their American taxpayer subsidized degree.
    They say this is acceptable and then overstate the amount of cheating and nepotism that American students do.

    Canada is about 20 years behind where America is today. American’s can’t even speak free on these matters anymore or we will be fired from our jobs or kicked out of our schools. Yet ethnics are free to say and do as they please as long as they are bashing whites. I’ve been in meetings in Fortune 500 companies where they make jokes and everyone laughs. Had I made these jokes there would be righteous indignation and I’d be fired on the spot.

    What Canadians need to do is repeal all these crazy immigration laws that let people immigrate to Canada from places other than Western Europe and/or Australia/New Zealand. Then a sense of balance would be returned. Here in America it’s too late. We could repeal our 1965 Immigration Act and go back to National Origins immigration policies but I doubt it would do much good since the people here are now breeding like rabbits and the country is going bankrupt.

  203. I met many “Asian-Canadian” friends while at university. I met them through campus-wide social functions and events, so obviously there were Asian-Canadians socializing and not just drooling into their textbooks, as this article suggests. I’m still friends with many of them, and see how they continue to be very involved in society. This article reads very false to me.

    I’m also not sure what the purpose of this article is. Are they saying that it’s best to drop out of school and not try to make a good life for yourself? We have a welfare system so take advantage of it? Mooch off of others instead of taking care of yourself? I certainly don’t want to live in a society of deadbeats. Are they really journalists? What school did they go to? (Or maybe they didn’t get into a school, because they got ousted by Asian-Canadians. ;-) )

    I’m never buying another issue of MacLean’s again. The magazine was becoming quite irrelevant anyway. I’m surprised it’s still around. This magazine won’t last much longer. Time to move on.

  204. Pingback: Food Girl Friday | On Maclean’s, Higher Education and Being “Too Asian”

  205. Pingback: OrganicFarmstead.com » Blog Archive » Maclean’s Shows How Not to Write About Immigrants With “Too Asian?” Article

  206. “an “Asian” school has come to mean one that is so academically focused that some students feel they can no longer compete or have fun.”

    Well this certainly reflects my experience teaching: the white students cannot compete because they won’t learn any math and are too busy having fun. Let them go to Queen’s and settle down in Kingston–they will have little to no role to play in the future of this country’s economy with their weak preparation for the job market.

  207. In other words, aim low, be mediocre, be Canadian.

  208. GOSH EQUITY SURE IS BORING NOWADAYS
    Let’s fix it with one big fat spoon of multiculty.

    WHAT KIND OF ART SHOULD THE POOR ASIAN FEMALE ARTIST MAKE? GOD FORBID IT BE ABOUT HER DISPLACEMENT OF IDENTITY!

  209. I’m in your school. using the library. using the healthcare. volunteering to plant trees. teaching your sex ed classes. marching for queer equity. teaching proper citation. taking your jobs.ha! :D DDD

  210. I just read this MacLean’s article. It’s no surprise that UToronto has a large Asian population because as with any other large academic institution like UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford, UPenn in the States, Asians are naturally drawn toward large schools with solid academic programs. Asians like reputation, the fame period. I am from an Asian family and I can attest to that. Failing to get into Harvard/Yale, UToronto or any well-ranked school is the next best thing (although it’s questionable that large schools offer a good undergraduate atmosphere). Asian parents choose these schools not because they offer the best experience for students, but because they are famous. I have my regrets for going to UToronto because I didn’t really have a very good time there. I was in an ultra competitive program in which I simply just gave up competing. My program had about 20+ peole and they were the only people I saw in my waking hours at university. Looking back, I wish I had gone a small liberal arts college where I could have had a better chance to express myself more. I totally support the students choosing to go somewhere else other than UToronto. Students should do what’s best for themselves. Social skills are an important asset and they cannot be developed easily in an ultra competitive program where everyone’s goal is to study hard to get into med school. I don’t think it’s just white people trying to go somewhere else for school. Some Asian people too, like myself, want to go to the best school that offers the best set of skills for life, including both social skills and a good education background.

  211. This article has NO PURPOSE.

  212. I belong to one race, and it’s the human race. if you have a problem with the colour of my skin, i suggest you stop hiding it behind and article and say it to my face.

  213. Too Asian? At this point in history the Writers could come with a couple of universities with high Asian population, not by accident, they are the best in various fields of study including maths, engineering and science. I am not a prophet; I can easily project that it will soon come to be that this phenomenon will be universal for all the major universities in the country. Except you are hard for tears, why cry now when can delay it for the future.

    Going to a university, among other things is majorly for the academics. If there is going to be any competition, one should expect it to be in academics not keg parties; keg party should rate a minor, a very low minor. I am not sure I know why the writers are making a case for kids who want to major on the minor except as others have pointed out to accentuate the race issue.

    I think the title is pathetic. We have heard over the years that Blacks do not do school but party, now you can turn around with your poker face and tell us Asians do not do party but school. Are you saying only the lukewarm is good? I think it arrogant when you think your way is the only right way.

    I pity the kids who chose his university solely on the quantum of party the university environment can offer. I blame the parents for setting such a weak foundation for our leaders of tomorrow. Both must realise that the competition is no longer local to Canada. Canada and Canadian firms compete on the world stage. Therefore, we should urge our universities to offer the most competitive courses in the most competitive environment with the most competitive intakes. The World stages do not offer quarters for the self depreciating.

    Wake up!

  214. I don’t think we should be afraid of discussing issues just because it makes us uncomfortable. Only through dialogue can we understand each other and also clear up misconceptions. Racism happens because we stay ignorant and shut our eyes and ears to points of view and customs we don’t agree with. Tolerance is important, but also changes in our attitudes is important. Sadly some races and cultures are not accepting of change. If we had not accepted new ideas, attitudes and compassions, we would still have witch trials in North America.

  215. I’m going to disagree with whoever said this article is not raicist..because I found it a little raicist.. You have eno right to talk about Asian people like that. If it’s too hard or difficult for white kids to compete that’s their problem, they are the one who want to party and play football all year .. And thata their chooice.. That is not to say Asians aren’t fun because they are I know alot of them who can
    Party!! So it’s not that theres is too many Asians in our schools is that toonmany lazy white kids are scared because they know they can’t compete…and to answer to toms post..u have no idea what come out of your mouth.. If it waant for all the immigrants that have migrated the american economy will be en worst … Because migrants have been the backbone economy..you seriously need to read..and then really think what your going to say..nor only that wearer Europeans or Australians are the ones taking your lazy ass jobs not the migrants who do the jobs you think your too good for ..lastly Asians work really hard at alm they do which must of us should want to achieve instead of downplay…

  216. I cannot believe we are reading this in the year 2010 and in a main stream Canadian publication, Is this what the editors of this Rag think this is main stream ?, I will never read this racist Rag again. The Media in this country have to live in Canada 2010, not in 1920. just aweful reporting.

  217. “Too Asian” is not about racism, say students like Alexandra: many white students simply believe that competing with Asians—both Asian Canadians and international students—requires a sacrifice of time and freedom they’re not willing to make.

    This sums it up; stop finger pointing. The solution is teaching how to compete. Most of these Asian students come here because our universities opened their doors to them to cover their budget shortfall. They charge international students three to four fold. Universities are now addicted to the revenue. Actually, we could turn this to a positive experience since it gives them real world experience. We live and operate in international market; the competition is fierce. Instead of always handing them everything on gold plate; it will taste better if they work hard for it. That is how the pioneers build this country.

    The unfortunate part of this article is that Macleans is sensationalizing the story to sell few extra magazines. Let us turn it to a positive experience than falling into a rat hole that does not take us anywhere.

  218. How could someone read this and not perceive it as racist? The term “Asian” is used as a general term to refer to international students from Asia (anywhere in Asia…Asia is a huge continent), those who have immigrated to Canada recently, really anyone of Asian heritage that both identifies themselves as Asian but also those who are visibly Asian looking…and then the term Canadian is synonymous with “white”.

  219. “White” isn’t a homogeneous groups of people and “Asian” is not a synonymous group of people.

  220. I meant homogenous

  221. What I found interesting is the difference between “too Asian” and “many Asians.” I am a University of Waterloo student, and it is a fact that a large portion of the student population is of an Asian background (not just Chinese as that seems to be the group most referred to as “Asian”).

    But I do not think there are too many asians, I think there are many Asians, and I have no problem with that. To say there are “too many Asians” is suggesting that Asian students are less deserving to be at universities than other (mainly white) students and that is when the issue becomes racist.
    Irrespective of the author’s viewpoint, I appreciate that such an article was printed because many are not willing to admit that in North American society, people are separated by “us” and “them.”

    I think that there is racism ingrained in Canadian and American societies, with academics included. This article highlighted an issue that many people do not want to admit, that racism still exists in Canada, only it’s more covert.

  222. Some years ago I was listening to a school choir singing at Guilford shopping mall in Surrey BC and I remarked to my Chinese friend that there were many Asian kids and White… but few East-Indian.
    I’ll never forget her reply. “Jim” she said,”I only see Canadians.”

  223. humanity is what is lost by placing stereotypes on any student of education. the “rat” race of mankind is in degrees. if we achieve more? we make more, to spend more. we have more.

    students reaching for the race. are just that, students their efforts rewarded are duly so.

    what we should discuss is being responsible in the all consuming consumers produced for consumption from winning that race.

    let us not forget after all, in the end we are all rats.

  224. I say good for them to bring the issue up.
    I work with kids and have seen firsthand how much pressure the Asian kids are under to perform at such a high level. I don’t want my kids to have to compete with kids who I think work so hard they are at risk of mental health problems. My kid goes to the 7th ranked school in Alberta and has an average in the mid eighties. She also actually is on a school team and contributes to the school. One of my friend’s kids was on a committee that was involved in something for the school- the IB student (who was Asian) simply said that she was way too busy to really do any of the work. I bet she put it on her resume, though, when she realized it had won some kind of award. I realize not all Asian people are so driven to succeed but many are.

  225. I live in Australia and came across this article via Facebook and we face something similar – for example, there’s a university here that doesn’t have a ‘top’ reputation because it’s very multicultural (I prefer the term multiracial but that’s another discussion topic). It just doesn’t have a good ring to it.

    I think that this article is not so much about race, it’s more about cultural differences that are attributed towards certain races.

  226. The solution is ,when the ministry set standards for admitting immigrants, don’t ask for scores >7 out of 9 in IELTS from applicants whose first language is not English, because by doing that you are dangerously picking only high IQ Asians

  227. My Canada is multicultural. The most ambitious, skilled, and talented students should be encouraged to apply to areas where they can see the most rapid development of those ambitions, skills, and talents. Race shouldn’t matter. Just as NHL hockey players spent most of their available time developing their skills, elite academics have spent significant amounts of their available time developing their academic talents. Spots aren’t being taken by asians,they are being earned by elite students. From experience, it is possible to succeed in an elite program, be very involved with extra curriculars, and still have time to do all the social things with a wide circle of friends.

    I am proud of Canada’s diversity. If more of Canada’s elite students are asian, what does that matter? Appalling is example of the mother blaming an asian student for the lack of her child’s academic success. Those who wish to study more, earn more academic success, this is regardless of race. If you do not wish to study hard alongside partying, then an elite program is not for you. If you have a dedication to studying above all else, then you will find more value in the elite programs than those that don’t. Don’t get mad when someone who studied hard ensures you receive the best treatment when you’re sick, or makes sure the bridge you drive on to work does collapse underneath your car. For Canada to become an international leader, we need to encourage our best and brightest, not discriminate against them for being too good.

  228. Well, I think if this article was posted on a Japanese or Chinese magazine, it would not be consider as racist. But it this article was talking about black people but not Asian people, it would be consider as racist. And I think those people who can not get into University should blade nobody but themselives, because they do not study hard, and thier parents do not provide the best education to them

  229. I got wind of this article while listening to Q, which is broadcast here in the U.S. I am an American of ‘asian’ descent, a term I find to be as reductive as ‘white’ and ‘black’. I’ve come across a number of such articles here in the U.S. as well.

    Do I detect racism in this piece? No. An ultimately pointless sensationalization based on purported ‘cultural’ anxiety? Yes.

    I don’t think it’s any secret that ‘elite’ (read: private) institutions discriminate in their admissions practices. Just the mere fact that admissions decisions are done behind closed doors attests to this. (After all, nothing threatens class privilege more than transparency.) Certainly, admission into such institutions is not based on merit – George W. Bush went to Yale. (Affirmative action goes both ways, with underrepresented peoples who clearly demonstrate eligibility being squeezed in the middle. Not that different with regard to the U.S. tax structure, come to think of it…) Why underrepresented peoples insist on gaining admission to such private institutions when they know they are not wanted… I’d guess it boils down to the pursuit of power, status, that sort of thing. Of course, if it’s public, then that’s a legitimate scandal right there.

    In a free society (which I assume Canada to be) peoples should not be forced to rub shoulders with other peoples if they do not wish to do so. Not everyone has a curious or adventurous enough spirit to go outside their comfort zone. Hence the balkanization that goes on in universities based on money, class, appearance, whatever. But such peoples should at least have the understanding that they risk myopia in doing so. I write this under the assumption that a university is a place for learning about the world and the people who live in it…

    Finally, people should not write about stuff they do not know nor understand and claim authority. But to be fair, I suspect that the publication’s editor had his/her hand in it to suit the taste of its readership and advertisers(?). Xenophobia – actually I can’t even call it that because I have no idea who ‘asians’ are in Canada. Are they Canadian citizens or not? I am an American citizen but I am treated like a foreigner, which is not surprising. I suspect from reading this article that Canadian society is not that different. I wonder: did Canadians kill off the natives too?

    This notion that asian peoples don’t ‘party’ is false. It just seems like they don’t because other peoples don’t care to hang out with them. Which is perfectly acceptable in a free society, if not a bit chauvinistic. Again, don’t write definitively about stuff you do not know.

  230. I heard about this article, and thought that people were exaggerating. But then I read it, and thought, WTF? Unfortunately, some of my American friends read this Findlay and Kohler article. One of them said (I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist): “Canadians think of themselves as being morally superior to Americans. But you Canadians are just as bad, if not worse. At least we’re upfront about our beliefs, and not passive aggressive about it.” And here, they hit the nail on the head. This article certainly does “passive aggressive” well. Reminds me of my great-aunt.

    I am embarrassed that this magazine is associated with Canada. I regret buying this issue (I was curious about the university rankings, but in the end, it’s just a load of BS anyway, so I don’t know why I even bothered). In principle, I want my money back. What a waste of trees.

    You know it’s bad when the National Post sticks it to maclean’s. Check it out: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/11/15/jeet-heer-macleans-article-on-asians-familiar-to-anti-semites-of-old/

  231. This is just great! I’ve learned this once again from this piece: all Asians are hard-working and clumsy in socializing; all white are party-crazies and less competent in competition; our country is too Colored and as well as our campus. Anything new?
    Also another old news about Macleans: You guys just hit another low and as tabloid as you have already been, stir as many controversies as you can. It ought to increase your circulation, but by decreasing your credibility. Hooray to Macleans.

  232. O.k. I’ll bite. I really don’t mind if my doc had ONLY an 80ish average in sciences and actually went into medicine because they really want to, rather than some pressure to “succeed.” After all, a doc, yes has to be smart, but they don’t need to be a rocket scientist. I still wonder about the mental health aspects of someone who needs/wants to have a 98% average. And I mean that irrespective of race.

  233. I think what’s racist about the article is “too many asians are applying to universities.” Uh…last time I checked, going to university is a good thing. Too many ASIANS? the way it’s phrased is bound to start some controversy. Whites are the majority in most Canadian universities but that fact doesn’t seem to garner a special feature article. I think focusing on the pressure in the asian community to go to university would have been better than generalizing and categorizing the asian population.

  234. Go LALA!!!!!!! :D :D:D

  235. Author one:
    Stephanie Findlay

    Current Staff at The Ubyssey
    Past Intern at Maclean’s magazine
    Education The University of British Columbia
    ——————————————————————————–

    Stephanie Findlay’s Experience
    Staff
    The Ubyssey
    (Privately Held; Newspapers industry)

    2007 — Present (3 years )

    Served as volunteer coordinator from 2007-2008.
    Was News Editor from 2008-2009.
    Staff member from 2009-2010.

    Intern
    Maclean’s magazine
    (Media Production industry)

    May 2009 — August 2009 (4 months)

    Intern at Maclean’s magazine

    ——————————————————————————–

    Stephanie Findlay’s Education
    The University of British Columbia
    Bachelor of Arts , Political Science , 2006 — 2010

    Activities and Societies: The Ubyssey, Journalists for Human Rights, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Women and Gender Studies Undergraduate Association, Journal of International Affairs

    Author two:
    http://www.eyeweekly.com/blog/post/34643–the-tmzing-of-steve

    Nicholas Köhler, a 33-year-old staff correspondent based in Calgary, was available to take on the assignment last week — with a background in crime reporting at the Ottawa Citizen and National Post, he was figured to be a good fit, sharing the byline with Toronto-based associate editor Cathy Gulli. While inside-out dissections of this kind of sensationalist article are commonplace south of the border, it seems few journalists in this country are ever called to dissect the motivation for covering a story a certain way, although Köhler was game for that kind of conversation

  236. You discriminated Asians, you levy them head tax, you prohibit them from becoming Canadian, you don’t employ them because they don’t speak good English, so to keep living, they need to take extra efforts to make themselves just to catch up, so once you fix the potholes they have been standing in, they will stand out. This is a lesson for this country: if you treat anyone bad, potential energy will be stored and it will snap back to hit you.

  237. If one of Canada’s goals as a nation is to be seen as an intellectual force to be reckoned with, then the top universities should be accepting students who have something to offer the intellectual community. If this means that for the next four, five, or even ten years, that the universities are accepting a large majority of Asian students, then so be it! Maybe it will serve as some motivation for us Caucasians to buckle down and study, and not pass university off as one giant party as ‘Rachel’ and ‘Alexandra’ have. The truth is, it’s possible for white-Canadians to achieve a balance of hard-work and fun, and maybe the kids who are whining about the “Asians taking their spots at university”, are simply not cut out for university.

  238. Wow, Macleans had to stoop to this level to get someones attention? I am disgusted with the amount of stereotyping in this article. This article implies “whiteness” as Canadian.

    I was born in Canada. English is my first and only language. After high school, I went to the University of Guelph. I play ice hockey and volleyball once a week…. But according to Macleans, I can’t be “Canadian”, instead I must be placed under the “Chinese-Canadian” category. Suddenly I’m socially awkward and I must go to school to study engineering or medicine. I laugh at this article, because I’m Asian and it doesn’t describe me at all. Wow Macleans, you’ve gotten your facts so wrong.

    I’m not saying that this article is only discriminative towards Asians. It even stereotypes whites as partiers who drink all the time. Really, Macleans, can you stoop any lower? One of my best friends is white and she does not drink. I have Asian friends who in fact do drink. It would seem that Macleans is working to create a cultural divide between white people and coloured people.

    Of all the other issues you could have written about (i.e. rising tuition fees, student debt) you chose to write and support cultural divide. You’ve chosen to pick one idea and find all the sources to support it without looking at the other side. (I thought journalism was about looking at both sides of a story?) Is Canada not a multi-cultural country? I’m utterly embarrassed for Canada. Macleans, you disgust me. There’s no way I will give my money for your magazine. Hats off to all those who are boycotting.

  239. This is one of the most racist piece of writing I have ever read. I’m african and I go to UToronto. Yes there are lots of asians in our school but there are also lots of indian/pakistani and “white” people. different concentrations have different people and in my program we have about an equal division of all races. With a lot of Asian countries (mainly china, india, and pakistan) high marks are expected of children by parents and since these kids have been raised that way (with the mentality that anything under 80% is disgraceful), they study hard constantly to maintain their marks above 80% and that’s why they mostly get into high ranked schools. at the end of the day, they’re looking at the numbers on your transcripts and trust me, the transcript numbers dont reflect what colour your skin is.

    Anyone who works hard enough to achieve can get into a high ranked school.

  240. how about discussing social integration for different ethnic groups in campus? this article is rubbish not only because it is clearly a racism (I mean, too many asian students in universities should not be considered as a problem in itself, right? no matter how you frame this issue, it is just wrong thing to write about when they did nothing illegal) but it also doesn’t really have a point. unproductive. uncritical. period. I’ve heard many people talking about this article now which is good, but really, should never have been written in the first place.

  241. I am neither Asian nor Caucasian but what the article says seems true in my experience.
    The last thing I am is racist but this what I have noticed.

    I was on engineering and it was amazing how many Chinese/Muslim are on engineering and commerce. Only 3% – 5% of students were from other ethnicities. They help each other and they work hard. While Caucasians either do not study or go into Arts and end up working as a waiter or something like that.
    Friday nights, my Asians friends go eat pizza and sleep 11 pm (many times after some extra studying). Caucasians they sleep at ~5, 6 am (if they do) and probably because they are so drunk.

    Today, I own a house and most of the people here in my town area who own a house are Asian immigrants. Caucasians pay our mortgage by renting our basements until they are ~40 (or more) and can finally afford and apartment.

    In my humble opinion, I dont think Caucasians do not go to school because there are too many Asians, I think they dont go because they are used to living life easy not like immigrants who have seen (and some experience) what poverty is like.
    Before coming to Canada it never crossed my mind not to go to university, here, it seems way too common (for Caucasians) even though it should not be because it is so affordable.
    After all, they can wash dishes and make a decent living, party hard, live on a paycheck basis and buy $150 jeans. If they get fired, government can pay their bills. They lack ambition in life.

    Also, I think Asians are very sociable (among them thou).

    There are exceptions thou.

  242. @jos
    again, you are terribly generalizing everyone, and I don’t even get what you are going after.

  243. What a piece of garbage this article is. Let’s put things in perspective here.

    You have a group of hard working, focused individuals who sacrifice their social life and work hard. Then you have a group of party goers, dinking on a regular basis, putting mediocre effort for mediocre results. You mix them together in a meritocratic system that reward hard working individuals and lo and behold, the former group fare better. Nothing surprising here.

    But when the statistic is such that the former group has a disproportionate amount of Asians, all hell break loose. A ‘white’ mother blaming the immigrants for her son not getting a spot in university, MacCleans writing this garbage.

    This has nothing to do with race. Maybe I am wrong, but schools choose candidates based on merit and not race. People should not blame immigrants for not getting a spot in University, they should blame themselves for being losers. Or blame the system for rewarding top model students.

    You reap what you sow.

  244. Another thing that I would like to comment on is the other stereotype that is portrayed in this article. As a white female in mechanical engineering, I find it offensive when people meet me and immediately assume that I’m taking a few useless courses so that I can go to frat parties and do keg stands. I worked my butt off in high school to get the grades that would get me into mech eng, and do not appreciate being clumped in with the handful of students who are at university simply for the beer and sex. So Macleans, stop publishing articles that put a cloak over entire groups of people just based on their ethnicity. I greatly respect the work habits of many of my Asian classmates, and I hope that the feeling is mutual.

  245. Maybe the one that wrote this article is one of those failures that went to university for sex and beer. Failed out of school and couldn’t help but blame those who work hard.

  246. Am I not reading it right or this artical is just full of confusion? White students go to other universities but U of T is because of there are way too many Asian students there. And yet you tell another story about Asian students tend to hangout with their own ethic group and not wanting to participate in other activities.

    Unless you’re telling me that White kids are eager to make friends with Asian kids and they can’t do so because they only hangout with other Asian kids so they chose other universities but U of T otherwise I don’t understand you.

    People just don’t like to see Asians everywhere, period. I bet you won’t find a article named “Too White?” about majority kids in a university are white and people don’t want to go there just because of it.

  247. I definitely believe this article is making a mountain out of a molehill. If we have skilled academics immigrating to from Asia to Canada that is a GOOD thing. Who can complain about getting more skilled workers? Especially with the aging baby-boomers increasingly relying on social services.
    This article I think is kinda missing the larger issue here. The larger issue is that we have too many people going to universities in Canada. There are many people that go to university who, quite frankly, do not belong in that environment and end up dropping out and losing a fortune in tuition fees. This is because in the last few decades universities have shifted from becoming the standard of education for theoretical, abstract and clinical professions to the standard for ALL professions. Right now virtually all mid to high income jobs want applicants to have a Bachelor degree at least. The problem is that universities are theoretical institutions and their primary purpose IS NOT teaching you applied that directly translates into a job. They are not meant to prepare you for working life, unless you plan on working in academics or going on to graduate programs like med school or law school that lead to a single well defined career (even then you will have to spend several years after school working as a resident at a hospital or a law clerk.) Look back in time 30 or 40 years and you can see that this was not the case. I am not saying that back then a university education was not useful when applying for certain jobs, but as many of the older people reading this will know, a university degree was not the be all and end all for all jobs that were not in the skilled trades the way they are now, and a college diploma went a lot further and in some cases was even preferred to a degree. (by the way people in the skilled trades can make huge amounts of money, so if you are reading this and in high school don’t over look them, I know a plumber who drives an Audi.) The more applied areas of the workforce are suffering as a result of this, because they are getting university students who have all sorts of theoretical knowledge which is useless in their profession, but none of the necessary practical knowledge. Case in point my mother just had to fire an employee in the IT sales sector who was fresh from getting his Phd, because he had no idea what he was doing, and had no prcatical knowledge of how to sell his product to other companies.
    As too the Asian enrollment trend, I do not know why everyone is making such a big deal about it. I am a white, male who is in 2nd year life sciences at uoft I personally find that uoft (at least the downtown campus) is one of the most culturally and racially diverse schools I have ever seen, and I personally have seen absolutely no racial tension, I have white friend, black friends asian friends, it really makes no difference. I am not saying that there is or is not a disproportionate amount of asian students, but there are plenty of other university enrollment trends out there that no one seems to be panicking about (eg. 66% of university students are female) and I am not saying anyone should be panicking about them (I personally like the high proportion of women on campus-for obvious reasons.) but I do find it odd that this one has created such a stir.
    Also you do not have to spend every waking hour studying to get into a top tier university like uoft. Many of their average acceptance grades range from a mid to high seventy to a low eighty and frankly if the work required to get that kind of grade is too stressful on your social life, perhaps university is not right for you. Remember top tier universities are referred to as top tier for a reason, and it is not because they admit people who just want to party.

    By the way if you have any more detailed info on the above issues, particularly the changing role of universities please post it, because all the information I have posted is from my own experiences and I know of little hard data on the issue.

  248. I have had the experience of observing an interesting phenomenon during my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering. What I noticed is that, while the Asians and Indians remained in the program after the “difficult” courses, the Caucasians had to switch to a much easier curriculum (Business, etc..). And thus …. I am calling this interesting phenomenon “white-out”!!
    Example:
    Alexandra: “Hey Rachel, how did you do in the engineering course?”
    Rachel: “Oh I dropped out. Don’t you know, it’s a “white-out” class!
    ** And if you think generalizing a group to the drop-outs is racist, this is no different than generalizing all asians as being competent students.

  249. University entrance is purely based on academic merit, and perhaps this can be tweaked. For the hard sciences (especially math, computers, engineering, physics, and chemistry)you do want to foster academic excellence to produce the next unidimensional brainiac like Bill Gates or Stephen Hawking. Who cares that these guys didn’t party all the time when they were in undergrad; they produced good work subsequently and broke new ground.

    On the other hand, we have to produce the more generalized productive university grad. To me, this is the person who finished university, made friends, partied, played intramural sports, joined clubs or got involved in a non-academic aspect. To do this, perhaps a series of short 200 word responses to questions will give the university the ability to parse through their applicants. The obvious downside to this is the mountain of work it’ll create.

    Medical schools have moved away from the heavily academic weighting of their entrance requirements, and have shifted to a more global requirement. What good is a technically smart physician who can’t communicate and connect with patients?

    Doing well only academically doesn’t really help a graduate in the real world of interpersonal interaction, problem solving, etc.

    So perhaps the crux of the problem is: What kind of graduate do universities want? A bunch of lab rats with no social skills? Or a more well rounded global citizen with a broad perspective of the social landscape of work life and everyday life?

  250. Nice, Macleans, you’ve attempted to undo the past by changing the article’s title not once but twice. Stalin would have been proud.