TOEFL Not For All

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, discusses how going to college in the U.S. just got harder for foreign students, especially for those from Iran. Plus, Jamal Abdi, policy director of the National Iranian American Council, discusses how the suspension of the TOEFL test in Iran will affect Iranian students who want to study in the U.S.


Jamal Abdi and Scott Jaschik

Comments [6]

Mike from Inwood

Mike from NYU notes: "That caller Bob is an idiot. Iranian students ARE fighting their government and they are getting KILLED for it."

I think the point of the single entry visas for students from certain countries is that it would be too easy to disguise a spy as a student and send them to the US. With a single entry visa, the usefulness of any such spies would be diminished.

Jul. 29 2010 11:39 AM
Mike from Inwood

While many foreign students come here and become sympathetic to the US and the 'American Way of Life', it doesn't have to work that way. Sayyid Qutb, one of the most influential people in the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood and an inspiration to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, developed his reactionary ideas based on his experience as a college student in the mid-West during the 1950s.

Jul. 29 2010 11:35 AM

I dont think your guest understands a basic fact. We are in an undeclared war with Iran. Whats to stop a member of the Revolutionary Guard from signing up for a student visa, and having free and legal access to the United States?

Jul. 29 2010 11:26 AM
Tracy from NYC

It is clear that the US government is not serious about changing hearts and minds to build a better relationship with Iran. It has undervalued a cultural exchange that is critical to better relations between the two countries. This is a sure way to continue hostilities and give more strength to the anti-American sentiment in Iran.

Jul. 29 2010 11:22 AM
Mike from NYU

That caller Bob is an idiot. Iranian students ARE fighting their government and they are getting KILLED for it.

Jul. 29 2010 11:17 AM
Aravindha from Manhattan, New York

Hi Amy (or Brian),

I came to the US in 2007 from India to pursue my graduate studies in Engineering - which I have successfully completed now, and starting working full-time recently. I would not have been able to accomplish even a single step in my current career in the US without TOEFL. As ridiculous as the test is (saying this because just because someone takes a test doesn't mean that the person actually has a better knowledge of the language or speaks it better) -- it is mandatory for admission for almost all the schools in the US, especially for graduate studies. For people from Iran, which is already in more state of disarray than most other countries in the world, everything depends on that first step of taking the TOEFL. It is their path to "Freedom", and hence, a better life. Taking off TOEFL for people from Iran is extremely unfair to Iranians. ETS (which conducts/ manages TOEFL) is an independent body, and it should not have this much power over the lives of millions of students. The universities, also, should look into this, and say "Okay, students can take either TOEFL or the IELTS", which might put the ETS/ TOEFL in their place.

Jul. 29 2010 11:15 AM

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