New legislation could limit out-of-state enrollment at UC campuses

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A new piece of California legislation that would limit out-of-state enrollment at each UC campus will likely face opposition from the university.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 22, introduced Tuesday by state Senator Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, would establish a 10 percent cap on out-of-state enrollment in any incoming class — which includes international student enrollment — at each of the 10 UC campuses starting with in 2013-14.

“SCA 22 ensures that California students get a fair shot at attending our University of California system — and not be turned away simply because a wealthy student from the East Coast or abroad shows up with a checkbook in hand,” Rubio said in a press release.

Currently, the university has a policy to limit out-of-state enrollment to 10 percent systemwide and was at a total of about 8.4 percent as of fall 2011. However, at individual campuses like UC Berkeley and UCLA, the proportion exceeds 10 percent.

In fall 2011, out-of-state and international students represented 18 percent of undergraduate student enrollment at UC Berkeley and 14 percent at UCLA.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said at a press conference in August that the campus’s long-term goal for out-of-state enrollment was 20 percent, justifying this goal by saying that Californian enrollment has not suffered as a result of increased out-of-state enrollment.

“As long as we’re meeting our obligations to Californians, I think it enriches the education environment for everyone to have a reasonable number of out-of-state and international students,” Birgeneau said at the conference.

At a press conference outside the UC Board of Regents meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger said the union supports Rubio’s amendment.

“This would mean my kids stand a chance at a UC education,” Lybarger said.

AFSCME Local 3299 represents more than 17,000 employees throughout the UC system.

Although UC analysts have not yet completed their examination of the legislation, UC spokesperson Dianne Klein said the university plans to oppose the amendment.

“We will likely oppose the bill because setting admissions criteria is within the purview of the university — its faculty and administration — not the Legislature,” Klein said. “This has worked well for UC, and the state of California, for nearly 150 years and has helped to make the University of California the best public university system in the world.”

The amendment can be acted on by the state Senate as early as June 15 and will require a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

Christopher Yee is an assistant news editor.