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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Why the United States Remains Top Choice for International Students

Juan Carlos Mercado, Dean, City College of New York
New York, NY, United States
November 17, 2015




Date: 11/17/2015 Location: New York, NY Description: City College of New York Dean Juan Carlos Mercado discusses U.S. higher education and its appeal to international students with journalists at the New York Foreign Press Center. - State Dept Image

2:00 P.M. EST

NEW YORK FOREIGN PRESS CENTER, 799 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA, 10TH FLOOR

MS SHIE: So welcome to the New York Foreign Press Center. My name is Monica Shie. As I emailed most of you on Monday, the Institute of International Education released its annual Open Doors Report, and again this year that report showed high numbers – record-high numbers of international students at American colleges and universities, as well as record-high numbers of American students studying abroad. You should have received a fact sheet when you walked in. If you didn’t get it, I can bring them over here. There’s a fact sheet right out there about the reports.

And here today to talk about international education and some of these issues is Juan Carlos Mercado, who is the director of study abroad and international programs at City College, and dean of the division of interdisciplinary studies, also at City College, at the City College Center for Worker Education.

So, I will turn it over to Dean Mercado, and when he – after he gives his remarks, you’re welcome to ask questions. Please just ask it in a way that these speakers can pick up your voice, all right? Thank you.

MR MERCADO: Thank you very much for inviting me to come to this event. This is the way that I plan to do this. If you agree, I’m going to give some numbers related to the last report that we received from the Institute of International Education, then I’m going to talk about my university, then I’m going to talk about my college. Probably you are not very familiar with City University of New York even though it is in the city, but this is a very big university, it’s kind of a complex system, but I think it’s good to understand how it works.

So right now, I’m going to start with some numbers just in order to see some – to have some ideas. In terms of global student mobility, it’s very interesting to see that in 2001, we have around the world, student mobility, 2 million students. And today, we have 4.5 million students. It’s a dramatic increase. In the last report, the United States received approximately 900 students – 900,000 students, sorry. This is a kind of 8 percent increase compared to last year.

Also – this is very interesting to note – that, for example, American student studying abroad is only 289,000 students. So this is something that the Institute of International Education has been planning to double the number of students that we have abroad in the next five years. This is a very challenging situation to achieve.

Who are these students that are coming to the United States? Chinese. Chinese student is the big majority of students. We have, approximately, in 2013-2014, 275,000 students coming from China. Also, we have been seeing an increase in term of the double-digit student from Kuwait. It was an increase of 42 percent. From Brazil, 22 percent; Saudi Arabia, 21 percent; and also, very interesting – I was really kind of surprised – from Iran, 17 percent in the last few years. From Venezuela – also it’s a very interesting number – 14 percent of students come from Venezuela.

The majority of these students come here because this government has implemented kind of a scholarship to send student to study – not only in the United States, but also to study in Europe and mostly in the STEM disciplines. Besides China, the second-largest country in term of sending a student to the United States is India. The growth was in the last year – compared to last year, the previous year, it was 6 percent. We have approximately 100,000 students coming from India. And I will say that approximately 50 – 50 percent of the total 900 students are coming from three countries – China, India, and South Korea. This is another very interesting data.

And we are getting more student coming from the Middle East and North Africa because (inaudible) an increase of 20 percent, and mostly from Saudi Arabia because the government has implemented a very good scholarship. They pay mostly for everything. And also, just to mention about some of the government: Brazil created the program called the 100,000 scholarship to send a student to the United States and Europe to study in the STEM discipline. President Obama then created the 100,000 Strong to send students to the Western Hemisphere to study there.

This is a very interesting number, the way – the financial contribution of these students to the country – $27 billion. It’s really, really an amazing – and also for those who get their Ph.D., the government – the American Government facilitate to stay here and to give a work visa to stay in the country for a while.

What are the universities that receive most of these students? New York University here in New York; Columbia University; University of Southern California; and University of Illinois in Urbana.

I was telling before that from these 280,000 students, American students that go abroad, mostly they wanted to have a kind of a short-term experience. Foreign student come to this country to get their degree – could be a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D. degree – and as I said before, in the STEM discipline. But our student, when they go abroad, they don’t – they are not going to get the degree. They are going to have the experience to know the country, to know the language, and to travel.

One other thing that I realize when – for our particular students, but after reading the report, is that our students don’t spend a semester or a year abroad. They prefer to spend four weeks, eight weeks maximum. At the beginning, I thought when we started developing programs in my college, in City College, that ours didn’t work so it’s very difficult for them to go abroad and to stay there for one semester or one year. I believe that this is the best experience. You came from a different country, you know how amazing the experience is for a college student to spend one semester or one year abroad. But here in our case, they really don’t want to spend a lot of time abroad.

Another interesting piece of information about this report is – let me see what we have here. As I said, China is the largest source country for foreign students in the United States. What do they want to study, the Chinese students in this country? Business and engineering. In City College, we have the only public school of engineering that grants PhDs and most of the student are Chinese. What is the largest source city for foreign student in the United States? Seoul, in South Korea. This is a very interesting – these students coming from South Korea are going to University of Illinois, Indiana University, New York University, and City University of New York – that is our university.

This is a very good report. I really encourage you – if you really are interested in this particular subject to get the report from the Institute of International Education, that is just – it’s around the corner. But there is some information that is missing, for example, like what’s looking at the information that we provide to them and there were some data missing.

I’m going to – now, I’m going to stop from this report and I’m going to talk about my university. I work in a mega university – when I say mega university, it’s City University of New York. City University of New York has – City University of New York is the umbrella. It has 25 colleges. Why I said mega university? Because we have 250,000 students looking for a degree in this city, plus 150,000 student in continuing education program. So we are talking about in the city of New York a university with 500,000 students.

My university has 166 programs around the world. Why we have so many programs? Because we have 25 universities that are very independent. And every single college has their own programs. So CUNY really is kind of supervised what we are doing in the colleges, but we have independence in terms of creating our own programs. Even though this is a mega university, we have approximately 11,000 students studying abroad in more than 100 countries. We have probably programs in every single country in the world.

Now I’m going to go to my college. I don’t know if you are familiar with City College of New York, so I’m going to talk about my college, because we are very proud of it. It’s the oldest public (inaudible) institution in the United States. It was founded in 1847. It has 10 Nobel Prize winners – the last one last year in chemic, a professor who is working at the University of London. Not only are we the top university in the STEM but also in the humanities and social sciences. For example, a former Secretary of State Colin Powell studied at City College. And we have in City College the Colin Powell School of Global Leadership. We have Pulitzer Prize winners and amazing writers like Walter Mosley, one of the most important African American writers.

Now, I’m going to talk about a little about our study abroad program. Until recently, I would say – until seven, eight years ago, City University of New York was not paying a lot of attention to study abroad. But in the last few years, a new wave of younger presidents and chancellor thought that global education is extremely important to our students. In my college that has 16,000 students only – it’s a very small college, 16,000 – it’s located in Harlem. If you have opportunity to travel, to go, it’s very close to Columbia University. We invite you to visit the campus. It’s a beautiful one. We have a student from 150 countries and 80 languages are spoken in the campus.

Even though when I gave – I give this information, you think, “Well, this is a very international campus and the student don’t need to travel because probably they came from abroad.” But the reality with our university is that we have first generation of students. And most of these students, they have very little resources and many of them probably come from small town in the middle of nowhere in India, or Argentina, or Colombia. And they come here, Kennedy, Bronx, Queens, and take the subway and travel to the college. So they really don’t have – even though they speak another language, there has been no dispose to other cultures and languages.

So as I said before, in the last five year we create approximately 15 programs around the world and mostly in – we have a program in South Korea; we have a program with China, mostly in collaboration of City University of New York; we have in Argentina, in Costa Rica, in Mexico, in Brazil. We have in Amsterdam, we have in London, we have in Germany. We have in Italy, we have in Morocco, we have in Senegal, we have in Ghana. So we have been growing intensively in the last few years.

Most of our students receive financial aid, so this is coming from our own funds. This is the difference between the foreign students, when they receive a scholarship from the government, and our student don’t receive any scholarship from the government. They receive scholarship from local donors. We have a very important group of donors through history, and these donors have been extremely devoted to the college. For example, the school of engineering that is one of the top in the Northeast, its name is Andy Grove School of Engineering. Andy Grove is the founder of Intel. And the school of architecture also has a name; it’s Bernie Spritzer, who is – who was a very famous real estate person in the city of New York. He donated $25 million for the school. General Powell has committed to raise also $40, $50 million for the school.

It looks like this is a lot of money, but remember this is a public university. And we are not-for-profit institution, and as you know, how expensive is to study in this country. And just like I have a teenager son who is looking for school and he told me that he would like to go to NYU. And when I checked the prices, it’s $73,000 – everything, tuition and housing. Just to have some idea, my college, our public university, has a tuition per year $5,800. And 65 percent of our students receive financial aid. So I hope that the public education, high education is going to continue in this country, because we really have a mission.

So I’m going to stop here. And probably you have some question and we can have a conversation.

QUESTION: Yeah. I was wondering, why do you think that the United States are still very attractive for foreign students? Why do they all – why do such a number, high number of students want to study in the U.S.?

MR MERCADO: I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I mean, it’s very clear that mostly when we talk about PhD degrees, terminal degree, our – I mean, we have the best institutions in the world. And I think that this is one of the reasons that many students wants to come to this country. I mean, in term of labs, it’s – in term of research, it’s really – I think that this is one of the principle reason. And I think that the foreign governments that create these kinds of scholarships really think the same because they want their student to come to this country. It’s a little risky for – mostly for the third-world countries because when they are here, they get the Ph.D. and I have – I know cases – I mean, in my university, and they try to go back and when they go back they don’t have the lab and they have to make a choice. So are you going to be a great researcher or are you going to do other things? And if you wanted to be a great researcher, and there’s no doubt that this country provide with a lot of opportunities in that sense.

QUESTION: And for the bachelor --

QUESTION: Mr. Mercado.

MR. MERCADO: Yeah.

MS SHIE: I just – having discussed this multiple times with the Fulbrighters --

MR MERCADO: Okay.

MS SHIE: -- many people will talk about from undergrad the fact that American universities are much more focused on problem-solving, on critical thinking, on promoting creativity, with music, with art as part of the education. These are some of things people tell us who come as Fulbrighters. Maybe you want to talk about the undergraduate students and their motivations.

MR MERCADO: Yeah, I know, I totally agree with you. And also, I mean, as you can hear through my accident, I am a foreigner too. So I studied in my country. I studied in Spain, and I just came by accident because I met my wife in Madrid. So – and I had to start – I realized that I wanted to be a teacher, and I said, I think I have to get – I already came with a master’s degree and I realized I had to get a Ph.D. in this country in order to be a college teacher.

What did I learn? Probably I came with a very good background, mostly in the social science and humanities. I mean, many students that come to this country with – I’m not talking about STEM and business, I’m talking about social science and humanities. Many – I mean, in many universities around the world, they’re very competitive. Their students come with a very good preparation. I think that what they really learn in this country, as a scholar, is to learn how to do research and to have all the resources of the world just very close to you. And not only that, and to receive fellowships to do any kind of research.

Yeah.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.) Sorry I’m late. Could you repeat the amount of the scholarship per year?

My second question --

MR MERCADO: Say again? Say again?

QUESTION: The amount of scholarship.

MR MERCADO: The amount for a scholarship?

QUESTION: For scholarship per year is my first question.

Can you explain why in New York the amount of university is so high? Because you know if you go to Miami or to Mississippi or – in Mississippi there is big basketball team – or in some other states it’s maybe twice less? It’s so expensive here.

And my – sorry for that, but my third question is that it’s very good you vary some scholarship. I think it’s much more difficult to get scholarships right now in comparison in 10 years ago. And how do you – what do you think about the debt – the student debt because the students here have to pay and they get debt, and it’s a really huge problem in the United States? And I think you are here to help a lot of people but, unfortunately, you can’t help everybody. But how could you help – what do you think about this? You think there will be a solution one day or what’s the plan or –

MR MERCADO: Well – but just for the first question related to the scholarship, as I said, in my university in City University of New York, tuition is very inexpensive. We’re talking about $6,000. So many donors provide scholarship for our students. I think in the last few years our president was able to raise $300 million to use for different kind of scholarship.

Yeah, I mean, I totally agree with you. It’s something for me – it’s very difficult to understand the price of the private universities.

Yeah.

MS SHIE: I was going to give just a very simple explanation – I think a lot of students who come from abroad hear about Harvard or Yale and they’re very – or Columbia. They’re very focused on private universities, which are very expensive. And the public universities in this country are excellent, and I think sometimes their reputation at home is much better than their reputation abroad where people just don’t know about them.

MR MERCADO: They don’t know that. Yeah, exactly.

MS. SHIE: And they’re much cheaper and they also provide an excellent education.

MR MERCADO: Oh, yeah.

MS. SHIE: And City College is a great example of that.

MR MERCADO: Well, I mean not – first of all, I am a strong believer; I’m a product of public education. I mean, I studied – I never pay in my country. I never pay in Spain. I never pay here.

QUESTION: You are Spanish. I’m French. We know that in Spanish and French --

MR MERCADO: We know – we know what it is. Yeah.

QUESTION: -- we can find something.

MR MERCADO: So – but I totally agree with you. It’s the perception about the Ivy Leagues. So if you talk with the middle class in Argentina and Paris and Madrid, if they have money to send the student, they want to send the student to Brown University; they want to send the student to Harvard; they want to send the student to Yale, even though they’re willing to pay this amazing tuition.

But I mean, just without mentioning my university, you can talk about top research university like UT Austin, and the tuition is $3,000 because they have an amazing endowment from donors. University of Michigan, Ohio State University, University of California – I mean, these are public universities where the tuition is not so expensive.

Probably you saw – talking about tuition just last week or this week, it was a program in – it was – I don’t – I forgot where it was – Al Jazeera or PBS about the law school. And so students graduate with a debt of $300,000 and they get a job, $16,000.

QUESTION: How can you explain that – I wrote a review about the big system and with *the big school loan*, and how to – how do you explain that private university are much more no-no and famous in the world than public? I know there is big, beautiful public, like Baruch College.

MR MERCADO: Yeah, yeah.

QUESTION: My son is in Baruch, so I know. But how can you explain that they are famous here and not in foreign country? Or what’s the – what’s the issue?

MR MERCADO: Well, if you talk about the scientists, they say that the – I mean, in order to have a good lab, you have to make a lot of investment, and this is one of the reasons that the cost is going up rapidly. But this is something that we can discuss. I don’t agree totally – totally with that.

QUESTION: Maybe you need advertising or --

MS SHIE: We also know that traditionally, foreign students coming to the United States were students in the upper classes --

MR MERCADO: Yeah.

MS SHIE: -- and they had money and it didn’t matter to them. Now we’re starting to see – and I came out of Bangladesh, I came out of India – we’re starting to see families who are middle class who also want to send their students to the United States, and maybe they can’t afford Harvard or Yale. So they’re starting to do more research and to find out what American families already know: that a school such as Ohio State University that Dean Mercado mentioned can provide a very good, very solid education, very great research facilities. So I think the perception might be changing only because in the past it really was the wealthy families who would send their students to the United States, and now families who have to watch their finances a bit more are starting to look at universities in the United States as well, as the numbers continue to go up. Right?

MR MERCADO: Yeah. But also, I mean, there – this is something that I always ask myself. Perception is extremely important. So even though we do this, when we hire people, I always say for the first job, a diploma from an Ivy League is a passport to get the job like that.

QUESTION: Do you have the number of the student – foreign student who stay – are in the U.S. (inaudible)? Because in the last country, like Vietnam, our country, when student decide to study abroad, especially in the U.S., it’s often try to find a job here – try to find – to get a green card or something like that. So how do you get the percentage or the number of the students --

MR MERCADO: We don’t --

QUESTION: -- (inaudible) and how do you think about the foreign student contributing to the country?

MR MERCADO: Well, I mean, this is a great business for us, honestly. (Laughter.) So you pay, and the student stays here. So you don’t need to form the student. I mean, it’s a kind of a tragic situation for the country that invests so much money in this student, in this engineer, in this scientist, and then the student is going to stay. I imagine that many country right now, they have to kind of sign some agreement say coming back to the country to work for two or three years. For example, we have in – this is a different situation but, for example, we have a medical school in my college, and the student – and they receive full scholarship. It’s a great medical school, biomedical education, but they sign – they have to sign an agreement that for three years, they have to work in the neighborhood that needs family doctors.

Yes.

QUESTION: I have two questions.

MR MERCADO: Yeah.

QUESTION: In regards to Chinese students, the IIE data says that there’s starting to be a trend of Chinese students coming over for undergrad more and more as opposed to just graduate school. Can you speak a little bit of your observations on that?

And then the second question: I know that the CUNY system has a lot of Chinese American students as well from the New York City area. And can you talk about that and also the number of Chinese students coming from abroad that are studying within the CUNY system?

MR MERCADO: Well, we – related to the first question, yes, we have been noting that there are more students coming to the States to the undergraduate level. And I think that one of the reasons – I mean, I don’t have the entire information and I don’t think that the report is talking about that. In the last few years has been an explosion of international recruiters.

QUESTION: International --

MR MERCADO: International recruiters. So they go to China, they go to India, they go to Korea, and they recruit students for American universities. And just this year, we are going to use one of these recruiters because, until recently, we don’t pay a lot of attention in order to enroll students. But now we wanted to get more students from abroad because the tuition is higher and this help us in order to finance the part of the budget that the governor is not giving us. So it’s a way to --

QUESTION: And this is in particular with undergraduate students?

MR MERCADO: It’s in particular with undergraduate students. This is what is happening right now. So I don’t know what the private – the private universities, I know that they have their own recruiters. They go to different fairs, to different cities. I don’t know if you are familiar with the State Department international fairs.

MS SHIE: Well, the State Department has something called EducationUSA, which is funded completely by the United States Government. It does not recruit for any one college or university, but it does give information to international students in China, in India, everywhere for free in an unbiased way. And apart from that, there are recruiters who are hired by universities, often universities that people haven’t heard of. Harvard doesn’t need to do this. These are universities usually that are smaller that want more foreign students, and they will hire people and pay them. And those people will go into places like India and China and they will recruit students and they get paid per student. That’s – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Remember, students have to get a student visa to come to the United States and study. They have to qualify for a student visa. Sometimes it is difficult to recruit students who qualify because there is that barrier.

So yeah, the recruiters are there, but the United States Government also has EducationUSA which is an unbiased, free – they represent – they’ll give students information about every college and university according to their profile, according to their scores, according to their interests, according to their finances, and they’ll try to help that student try to find the right university, public or private, in the United States that’s a good fit. So that’s usually a better option for foreign students. It’s free.

MR MERCADO: The other thing that I think that this is important to give this information is, we said before, the United States is the top destination, and the second one is England, and the third one is China. So this is a kind of – and then it’s France, Germany, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

The other information that I don’t know if it is in the report is, for example, what happened with the American students that go abroad. So we know that the students that are coming from abroad, they want to study business and they want to study STEMs. But our students, they want to study social sciences, business, humanities, health professions, foreign languages, and education. It kind of explain the fact that what I – we said before, that we have a very good institute centers dedicated to STEMs, so the student are not looking for – to study abroad.

There is something very, very interesting that was created in the last five years by the Institute of International Education, and I think that this is the future of all the study abroad and international programs. They put together a consortium of school of engineering from around the world – 70 school of engineering, and the best school of engineerings in China, in – all over Europe, in Israel – Technion. In the States there are like 20 universities; we are included in that.

The beauty of this consortium is that we don’t need to sign bilateral agreements with Technion or with some university in England. Through this consortium, the student – our student pay local tuition. So they pay our tuition and they can go to Technion in Israel, that is one of the best school of engineering in the world, or one of the school in England or Germany, for example. So I think that this is going to be the model, and it’s working very, very well.

QUESTION: And then the question about Chinese American students at CUNY and Chinese students at CUNY?

MR MERCADO: Yeah. So tell me again the question.

QUESTION: I know that there’s a big population of Chinese American students at – within the CUNY system for the Chinese community in the New York City area, so if you can talk a little bit about that, as well as the Chinese international students that are at CUNY.

MR MERCADO: Yeah. Well, as I said before, I cannot give the total information about the Chinese students in CUNY. I said we have 250,000 students and 150 continued education, but I can talk about our student profile in City College.

Even though we have the school of engineering and all the STEM, I think the Chinese or the Chinese American student are not the majority. The majority of students in the school of engineering are Indian – are Indians and also from Pakistan, and we have many student from the Middle East studying there. And the racial profiling – in City College, for example, in order to have some idea, is – we have 16,000 student and 32 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are African American, and the rest, mixed.

So this is not the – some people, maybe they have the wrong perception that Asian Americans or Asian student are the majority in the school of engineering, for example. It is not the case. But it probably is the case in term of the professors. The majority of the professors in the school of engineering are – they have Asian background, and most of them Chinese.

QUESTION: I think you have a partnership with La Sorbonne, right? You did it, a partnership, maybe a few years ago with La Sorbonne?

MR MERCADO: With La Sorbonne? Yeah, well, we --

MS SHIE: Because I think they are a partner in --

MR MERCADO: When – no, we have a consortium called – not City College, but CUNY – called CUNY Paris Exchange.

MS SHIE: That’s right.

MR MERCADO: Yeah. And by the way, we have – Saturday, I was working all day on the phone with our partners in Paris because we have, like, 20, 25 students from CUNY studying there. We’ve had two student from City College that were there, and we identified immediately the first one, but the second one, it was impossible to locate this student, and finally, I think at the – I tried to figure out and I get the – her email, so I sent an email to her, I think, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon Saturday and she answered my email. She said, “I’m fine, everything’s okay.”

So, yeah.

QUESTION: Do you think that online education could change the number of international students that would come to the U.S. to study?

MR MERCADO: Well, right now, American universities in general – probably the Ivy Leagues, and they don’t need it – (laughter) – but we need financial resources. There is a very good book that I – if you are interested in the education theme, that I really recommend. It is called Redesigning the American University – What is the Future of the University – you can google. I don’t remember the author. The author – there are two author, but the principal one is the president of Arizona State University who was the provost at Columbia University. And I think that he wanted to try to implement some of these ideas. He didn’t, so then he went to Arizona. And the Arizona State University was in pretty bad shape 10 years ago. He talked to the governor, the board of trustees, and the legislators and said, “I have this idea. If you allow me to move ahead, I’m going to transform this university.” And right now, Arizona State University is one of the top research institutions. He really transformed the university. And he has a lot of confrontation with the faculty, but this is something has been saying for a long time.

The traditional department – I’m coming from the humanities – the traditional department – when we talk about traditional department: history, geography, anthropology – I think are going to disappear. It’s – everything is going to be interdisciplinary, and this is what he did. And he really put emphasis in online. And in his book, he said right now, we have 10,000 students online around the world, and these online classes are financing my university, and my goal is, in the next five year, to go to 20,000. It’s a lot of competition right now online, even though we have pressure in creating more online classes because that could be a source of revenue. But you have to compete with the best universities of the world.

For example, just – I learned recently that the University of London, the London School of Economics, has a master degree in business administration that is very reasonable for American students, and the tuition is $400 per credit. Not only that, they open an office in the States to attend American students. So this is a big business right now, but it’s a good alternative. It’s a good – I mean, this is really, really a new thing, and I’m – because I’m old-school, I really believe in the face-to-face, but probably you are younger, you have better experience than I have.

Yeah.

QUESTION: You mentioned the terrorist acts in Paris. Is there any concern that such things are going to impact the number of students who are going abroad?

MR MERCADO: It’s very difficult to say that. I don't know. Last – I mean, we have – yeah, most of the programs now in January are in South America, but we don’t have any cancellation. It’s – everything is on, on --

MS SHIE: It’s too early to say.

MR MERCADO: Yeah, it’s --

MS SHIE: It’s too early to say.

MR MERCADO: Yeah, it’s – we have – we are sending 50 students to Buenos Aires and they’re really happy to escape the winter and – (laughter) – to have a good time there. So it’s – yeah, it’s too early, yeah.

MS SHIE: And the numbers keep going up and --

MR MERCADO: Yeah, they keep going up, yeah, yeah.

QUESTION: Did you take some measure to reinforce the security?

MR MERCADO: To – say again?

QUESTION: I don’t --

MR MERCADO: If you – what happened with the security?

QUESTION: Yes.

MR MERCADO: Yeah.

QUESTION: Is it much more --

MR MERCADO: CUNY has an extraordinary security.

QUESTION: There is something – a metal detector and everything?

MR MERCADO: We – everything, everything – I mean, I was really impressed last year or two years ago through a briefing. And as I said, CUNY oversee all the study abroad programs from the 25 colleges. So the idea is when the student leave this country, we want him, her, them to have the best experience of their life. So my student in City College, they – I gave them my cellular phone number. If something happen, they can call me, wherever I am.

So we have an insurance that is very reasonable, it’s not expensive at all, and this insurance company work with a security agency, and they do everything related to intelligence. When we have the – this – the Arab Spring four or five years ago, we have a student from Queens College in – stuck in Egypt, and he was – we have a briefing after that. It was really an amazing operation, how – these are probably military people, retired – and how the student was – they took him from Egypt to outside.

So we have a very good system in that sense.

MS SHIE: Okay. Any other questions? All right. If not, thank you all for coming, and thank you, Dean Mercado.

MR MERCADO: Thank you very much.

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