BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than 15 percent of University at Buffalo
students come from outside the United States -- 4,300 plus last
year and about the same number expected for the new academic year,
which began yesterday. It is a population UB is working hard to
Stephen Dunnett, Ph.D., vice provost for international education
at UB, says, "In a significant sense, international students play a
large role in creating UB's campus culture. They internationalize
the university and the community and enrich us educationally,
economically and culturally.
"Their presence is a catalyst to our domestic students to study
foreign languages and to participate in study abroad, and they
serve as ambassadors of their countries and cultures, which
enriches the campus and community by their presence. In trying to
recruit domestic and international students we say: 'come to UB and
we will give you the world!'"
The 2006-07 economic impact study published by the Association
of International Educators in November 2007 reported that UB's
international students alone contributed almost $80 million a year
to the Western New York economy, more than students at any public
New York State institution of higher education.
U.S. News and World Report last week ranked UB with Harvard
University and the University of Pennsylvania as having one of the
largest enrollments of international undergraduate students in the
With the number of 18 year-old U.S. high school graduates in the
college enrollment pool predicted to begin a decline in 2010,
Dunnett says recruitment of international students is becoming a
priority at many U.S. colleges and universities. Then, as now, UB
and other U.S. schools will face intense competition from thousands
of colleges and universities seeking to enroll available American
"U.S. schools will have trouble fulfilling their undergraduate
enrollment requirements with high quality students if they are not
able to attract students from overseas," Dunnett says.
"International students (most at UB come from India, Korea and
China) pay full tuition and usually full board as well -- roughly
twice what domestic students pay, and they spend money on many
other items besides," Dunnett says, "so they contribute mightily to
the financial stability of the university as well as to the
economic well-being of Western New York.
"I want to be clear that we compete mightily for all of our
students, domestic and foreign, in-state and out-of-state," Dunnett
says, "and we are deeply dedicated to the education of every one of
"But we need to recognize that our out-of-state student
population, which increasingly comes from foreign nations," he
says, "is academically well-prepared, very canny about the quality
of the education they receive for the price and sought after by
thousands of institutions in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
"They are well aware that they pay much more for their education
than do Americans at the same school, and they know they have
plenty of other options," he says, "so to attract them and keep
them, we offer the best service and the most enhanced academic
Dunnett says UB was among the very first U.S. universities to
recruit and enroll large numbers of foreign students, and to
provide the kinds of services that recognized their special
language needs. Decades of experience and high-quality resources
offer an advantage, he says.
"We have an excellent reputation overseas and have many
distinguished alumni," he says, "and our outstanding program in
English-as-a-second language education has been a superb resource
for international students for 37 years. We help to facilitate
their thesis writing, offer classes in accent reduction and provide
assistance for those who find our large decentralized libraries
complex and confusing.
"Our superb Office of International Student and Scholar Services
(OISS) offers a variety of wonderful programs, including a
comprehensive and on-going orientation to living and studying in
America, underway now for the fall incoming class; cross-cultural
counseling and academic advisement, etc.
"We are also particularly attentive to the student services
area," he says, "and offer beautiful residences, excellent food and
a wide range of assistance for everything from immigration and visa
issues to international student clubs, news updates and social
activities through our Office of International Scholar and Student
Services. We constantly try to provide a good experience for these
students because they give so much to us in return."
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
university, a flagship institution in the State University of New
York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. 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.