A new report out of the Pioneer Institute argues that the University of Massachusetts public higher education system is admitting too many out-of-state students.

The report says that branches of the system like UMass Amherst—which, for the first time, admitted more out-of-state than in-state students in 2015—are becoming too selective to serve students within the state.

But Paul Reville, former Secretary of Education under Deval Patrick and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, disagrees.

"I think we ought to be celebrating higher education and working hard to get more people with four-year diplomas, and UMass is building the capacity to do that," he said. "So I'm not sure what the problem is."

Reville said that the overall number of out-of-state students in the system is relatively low. According to the university's statistics, 4,500 out of 22,000 total students are from out-of-state.

"Particularly when you look at the overall enrollment, it's around 1/4 of enrollees," he said. "We obviously want our students to have contact with people who don't just come from Massachusetts. We're not looking to be parochial," he said.

Reville said he believes the uptick in out-of-state enrollment is a sign of how competitive UMass has become.

"It's become more visible, more competitive, the grades and scores of people entering the school are higher than ever before. And they seem to somehow think this is a problem, when I think this is an achievement on the part of the Commonwealth," he said.

To hear more from Paul Reville, tune into Boston Public Radio above.