For public hearing 4/17/17
To: Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education
From: Dave Porter
Subject: SB 5524: Questions on number of Oregon higher education students studying Mandarin and other strategically important foreign languages
Please ask the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to submit written data on the numbers of students studying Mandarin and other strategically important foreign languages like Hindi, Indonesian, and Japanese. Please ask for data by languages studied and by the higher education institution.
In 2007, I did not think Oregon public universities had enough students studying Mandarin for Oregon optimum economic and national security future. I think today that Mandarin situation continues. Today I think the problem has become broader: Oregon does not have enough students studying Hindi, Indonesian, and Japanese as well.
On 2/14/07, the three major Oregon public universities testified before the Oregon House Education Subcommittee on Higher Education on their engagement with China. Each of the three universities reported their then number of students studying Mandarin. None had more than 1.62% of their students studying Mandarin. I found those percentages alarming low.
What are the rates today? Please get the data.
Here are the 2007 findings: