Miami reflects U.S. trend in international student rates
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 22:09
Miami University strives to accommodate an increasing number of international students, which reached a record high across the country in 2011.
Data from The National Center for Education Statistics reported 723,277 international students studied in America for the 2010-2011 school year—a 4.7 percent increase from the year before.
According to data prepared by Ohio Board of Regents, in 2010 four percent of undergraduate students were from other countries. The only school with a higher percentage in Ohio was Ohio State University with 6 percent.
According to the OIR Miami Fact Book, the number of graduate and undergraduate international students on campus has grown dramatically in the past five years—from 360 in 2007 to a preliminary number of 1,088 in 2012.
David Keitges, Director of International Education, said he expects the trend to continue.
“I think the reason it has increased is because there has been more prosperity in the last few years around the world,” Keitges said. “Of course there are economic problems now, but they don’t affect everybody the same. People come here because they realize that it’s important to send their children to America to learn English, so they will have many economic and other opportunities.”
According to Keitges, the majority of international students come from countries in East Asia such as China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and pay the same out-of-state tuition any American would—around $40,000 a year.
Keitges said the number of students coming from these countries is due to the high availability of quality universities in the U.S.
“They’re well-educated people and they want to have a good higher education and America’s famous for that,” Keitges said. “Another reason is that American university experience is viewed very positively in those countries. There are some very quality universities and then there are a lot of not so great ones, so a good alternative is coming to America.”
Junior Xinyue Shang is from China. She has been at Miami for two years, and said teachers in America seem to interact more with their students whereas in China they don’t usually offer much assistance.
“I took two years in my China college and I don’t think I learned anything,” Shang said. “I think this is the most important thing for us—to come to the United States. It is challenging, but I think it’s worth it.”
According to Keitges, the majority of international students at Miami are from China, which provides a great opportunity for the university and its students.
“People believe that China is an extremely important country for the United States now, and tomorrow and in the future,” Keitges said. “We’re very fortunate to have so many Chinese students coming to Miami, and also so many Miami students with some study abroad experience in China.”
According to Keitges, Miami appeals to many international students because of its reputation.
“[International students] live and die by rankings,” Keitges said. “They believe that academic rankings are very important, and Miami is a highly ranked university in the United States, and the business school is especially highly ranked.”
According to the Miami University 2011 CIRP Freshman Survey—which was completed by 3,032 domestic and 117 international students—50.8 percent of international students identified business as their probable career choice as opposed to 30.2 percent of domestic individuals.
Shang said she chose to come to Miami for the business school after she did some research into the university’s background.
International students play a very important role, Keitges said.
“The university believes that we have to provide the best education for students,” Keitges said. “That means an education that will last them for the rest of their lives. Obviously the world is going to be much more globalized than it is today, so an education appropriate for you means you get to meet people from all over the world—we live in a global marketplace.”
Though the increasing number of international students is beneficial, according to Keitges, it also comes with a responsibility to accommodate those individuals.
“It means a more diverse campus,” Keitges said. “It means we have to provide special services—things to help those students.”
According to Keitges, services being provided range from visa and cultural transition programs, to providing globally-oriented menus in dining halls and lots in between.