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UB Maintains Leadership Position in International-Student Enrollment

By Arthur Page

Release Date: November 13, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo continues to maintain its leadership position among America's major public research universities in terms of percentage of enrollment represented by international students, according to the latest annual "Open Doors" report of the Institute of International Education (IIE).

UB is first among America's major public research universities in terms of percentage of enrollment represented by international students. Its international enrollment of 4,103 students from more than 110 countries constituted 15.4 percent of its enrollment during the 2006-07 academic year, compared with 14.9 percent the previous year.

UB is 13th among the IIE's top 25 leading host institutions in terms of total number of students, compared with 10th last year. In the past academic year, UB had an enrollment of 4,103 international students, compared with 4,072 the previous year.

The Top 25 in the IIE report is led by the University of Southern California (USC), with 7,115 international students constituting 21.3 percent of its total enrollment. Columbia University is ranked second, followed by New York University.

In terms of percentage of international students, UB is ranked with, and only surpassed by, six premiere private universities: Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, USC, Cornell and Pennsylvania.

President John B. Simpson said UB enjoys an excellent reputation overseas and is one of the most globalized public research universities in the U.S.

"As we seek to build further on our leadership in higher education, we take great pride in our continued recognition as one of the nation's leading universities in terms of international enrollment," Simpson added.

"Preparing students to contribute meaningfully to, and succeed within, the global knowledge economy of the 21st century is a vital element of UB's mission as a public university," he noted. "Our success in attracting a large and diverse international student population is a

central part of that effort."

UB's Office of International Education, under the direction of Professor and Vice Provost

Stephen C. Dunnett, was among the first U.S. institutions to create an international enrollment management office and to develop an international enrollment recruitment strategy

"We are pleased that we have increased our international enrollment this year despite the growing competition for high-quality international students among leading universities both in the U.S. and around the world," noted Dunnett, past president of the Association of International Education Administrators.

"The presence of more than 4,100 international students from 110 countries greatly enhances the diversity of our campus community and contributes in countless ways to the intellectual and cultural life of the university. Our international students are a source of cultural and economic enrichment for the Buffalo Niagara community."

International students, who pay double the tuition of New York State students, also make a major financial contribution to the university and community. The overall economic impact of UB's international students and their families is estimated to be nearly $70 million annually.

Satish K. Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said UB plans to increase enrollment of international students by 1,000 between now and the year 2020 in conjunction with its goal to rise among the ranks of the nation's public research universities by growing by 40 percent, increasing enrollment by 10,000 and faculty and staff by more than 2,300.

Stressing that enrollment of students from other countries is only one measure of an international university, Tripathi noted that a faculty task group last month issued a report commissioned by him recommending strategies for further internationalizing UB through new

investments in student experiences, faculty scholarship and institutional mission. The task group also recommended the integration of global perspectives across the university's curriculum and to require student competence in a second language.

"A strong international student presence on our campus is a very important part of UB's history, tradition and future," Tripathi said.

"We continue to build upon this tradition through, for example, encouraging our students to participate in study abroad and bring their wonderfully enriching experiences back to our campus; through forging international research and academic partnerships with other prestigious international universities; and through ensuring our curricula capture global perspectives."

UB's history of offering overseas educational opportunities spans three decades.

In 1980, UB was the first U.S. university to negotiate an educational exchange agreement with China after diplomatic ties were reestablished between the two countries. In 1981, under the auspices of that historic agreement, UB established the UB Language Institute in Beijing on the campus of the Beijing Normal College of Foreign Languages and established educational exchanges with three Beijing universities. That same year, under the exchange agreement, China began

to send students and faculty to UB. Among UB's prominent alumni are China's Minister of Education Zhou Ji and entrepreneur Robin Li, founder and CEO of Baidu.com, the Chinese-language equivalent of Google.

In 2004 it began offering UB undergraduate degrees entirely overseas when it launched a full-fledged undergraduate business administration program in Singapore in cooperation with the Singapore Institute of Management, where UB has offered an Executive MBA program since 1996.

UB currently has study-aboard programs with institutions in more than 30 counties on six continents. They include a Master of Humanities (MAH) Program in Caribbean Cultural Studies jointly operated by UB and the University of Havana that is the only joint graduate program ever

established between a university in the United States and a Cuban university.

In recent weeks, UB established a major new exchange partnership with Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, that calls for a variety of cooperative research and educational initiatives, with a particular focus on the shared-border region of Western New York and Southern Ontario. The university also announced it is working with the University of Toronto to establish a formal consortium with some universities in Southern Ontario and New York State to facilitate collaboration between the institutions.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.