The governing Ontario Liberals should rethink a $30-million plan aimed at luring foreign students to Ontario universities when so many home-grown students are struggling to put themselves though school, opposition leaders said Thursday.

Foreign students are welcome to study in Ontario, but not on the taxpayers’ dime, said Opposition Leader Tim Hudak.

“To see $40,000 a year in scholarships go to foreign students when Ontario families are trying to scratch together enough money to send their kids to college or university — it’s wrong,” he said.

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the PhD scholarship program Thursday in Hong Kong while wrapping up an official visit to China.

It will provide 75 top foreign students with $40,000 a year for up to four years.

The Liberals hope the move will boost the profile of Ontario universities abroad as part of a larger economic plan outlined last spring that will see them into next fall’s election.