The Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars has not received new funding despite a rise in admitted international students, a UCLA spokesperson said.
The Dashew Center serves international students by promoting interaction between international and domestic students, providing visa services and hosting workshops. Despite stagnant funding, the Dashew Center has evolved to accommodate the influx of international students by increasing collaboration with other entities on campus to provide more integrated services, said UCLA spokesperson Katherine Alvarado in an email statement.
Funding for the center has remained the same at approximately $1 million in funding annually, primarily from general funds and student services fees, Alvarado said, although the percentage of international students enrolled at UCLA has more than tripled from 2008 to 2018.
Shahamah Tariq, the Undergraduate Students Associated Council international student representative and a third-year electrical engineering student, said it is upsetting that the Dashew Center is the only administrative center at UCLA for international students, but has not been allocated funding proportionate to the influx of international students in the past decade.
“I really wish the department was also given more funds to support these international students, because we take more international students every year, but we should also be investing in them and for them,” Tariq said.
Multiple offices and entities work with the Dashew Center to offer services for international students. Student Legal Services offers its mobile legal clinic at the Dashew Center once a month, and Payroll Services partners with the center to provide tax workshops for international students, Alvarado said.
Career fairs are one example of the collaboration between the Dashew Center and the Career Center, said Christine Wilson, interim director of the Career Center. The Career Center consults with job recruiters throughout the year to determine what their organization’s hiring policies are regarding international students, to ensure that international students are not applying for positions they will not be considered for, Wilson said.
A liaison known as the Career Educator also facilitates collaboration between the two centers, Wilson said. The Career Educator works with the Dashew Center to host workshops for international students, provide information about job searching specific to international students and hold one-on-one appointments.
The Career Center has recently taken another step to support international students by requiring employers that post unpaid internships to open the position to all students, including international applicants, Wilson added.
“This is a new guideline that our office has created for the 2019-2020 academic year, and we look forward to working with employers to ensure their internships meet these criteria,” Wilson said.
While it has been difficult to grow specialized services for international students due to the huge increase in international student enrollment, Wilson said the center has been collaborating with student groups and other entities to host career fairs with global companies, like the Greater China Hire, which the center hosted last fall and spring.
Entities outside the Dashew Center also provide resources for international students such as the international student representative office within USAC.
Tariq is the first-ever international student representative on the council. The newly formed position was designed to provide international students more representation and advocate for them as they face unique challenges transitioning to the U.S. education system, Tariq said.
Tariq said she thinks there should be more financial support for international students, especially after the University of California Board of Regents voted to increase nonresident tuition for the fifth year in a row. Tuition for nonresidents is now $42,993 per academic year, while tuition for California residents is $13,239.
“UCLA should support (international students) better by recognizing their needs,” Tariq added.