The significant growth in UK’s international education demonstrates UK President Eli Capilouto’s commitment to “providing access for international students to seek their degrees at UK, allowing opportunities for our students to study abroad and immerse themselves in different cultures, and creating opportunities for faculty exchanges that enrich the academic and cultural fabric of our campus.”
International students enrolled at UK has increased by 13 percent, while the number of international undergraduates has increased by 27 percent.
Additionallly, the number of UK students who enrolled in an Education Abroad program during the 2011-12 academic year increased by 39 percent.
The growth in the numbers of students coming and going also reflects how the UK International Center is serving the UK community by facilitating the interaction of global students and scholars, according to Susan Carvalho, associate provost for international programs. “We not only create diverse opportunities for global experiences, but also promote the involvement of UK faculty and students in the international community of scholars to investigate and solve global problems.”
Coming - International Students
The increase in enrolled undergraduate international students is due to the strong partnership between the Office of Enrollment Management, led by Associate Provost Don Witt, and UKIC’s International Enrollment Manager Audra Cryder. According to Gary Gaffield, assistant provost for international partnerships, “Audra has been indefatigable in promoting the University of Kentucky and a true innovator in finding ways to reach international students through both traditional and new media. Thanks to Audra and to her work with social media, tens of thousands of prospective students are hearing why UK is a top choice for study in the USA. She travels constantly, meets hundreds of students each year, and is always finding new ways to reach out to them and show them why they should enroll at UK.“
Since last October, for example, more than 70 Omani students have begun studying at UK. Their presence has caused UK’s international enrollment of Middle Eastern students to double, and is the positive result of a partnership cultivated by Cryder between the University of Kentucky and the Omani Ministry of Higher Education.
The country with the highest percentage of students attending UK are from China. This reflects UK’s growing presence in China through partnerships with Shanghai University, Jilin University, Wuhan University and the China University of Mining and Technology, as well as the bridge-building work of the UK Confucius Institute. To capitalize on these opportunities Cryder is currently working with a team of Chinese students attending UK and Diane Shen, who represents UK in China, to develop new recruitment strategies.
Going - Education Abroad
Tony Ogden, director of Education Abroad, attributes their increased enrollment to the diversity and quality of faculty-led programs, “Education Abroad programs designed and led by UK faculty closely aligns with UK’s curriculum in a way that programs offered by third parties cannot. Students are also more likely to participate in a faculty-led program because they know the program will compliment their program of study, and they want to travel with their professors and fellow students, not in the company of strangers.”
Education Abroad will continue its growth by expanding education abroad opportunities to include study abroad, research abroad, intern abroad, teach abroad and service abroad opportunities.
Abby Hollander, assistant director of education abroad, hopes to increase interest in education abroad throughout the university. “We hope to provide students in all of UK’s colleges with international experiences that will help them broaden their intercultural competence, scholarship and professional opportunities worldwide.”