Int’l grad student enrollment on rise

The University engages in overseas recruitment in order to encourage top students to apply.

Betsy Graca

Despite a dip in the number of applications of international students following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the University has seen the numbers climb back up in recent years.

With successful recruiting, the University’s graduate school has increased the enrollment of international students in the past year.

Representatives from the graduate school have spent time overseas at college fairs and institutions to recruit students to the University.

Andrea Scott, departmental director for the graduate school, said the University is always looking for diversity in students.

In the graduate school, the number of Indian students has increased by 34 percent, Turkish students by 86 percent and Chinese students by 3 percent since 2006.

Scott said the graduate school selected institutions overseas for recruitment based on the fact that they had outstanding students who are looking for a place overseas for graduate studies.

“We are always looking for the best students wherever they are in the world,” she said.

The University is one of the highest-ranked graduate schools in the United States in appeal to international students.

According to the Center for Measuring University Performance’s 2006 rankings, the University ranked No. 11 for all private and public research institutions nationwide.

Ceyhun Elgin, a doctoral candidate in economics and a Turkish American Student Association officer, said students are attracted to departments’ reputations and scholarship opportunities.

Elgin said there are 15 Turkish students in the economics department, which is in the top 10 in the nation.

When students in Turkey see their peers succeed at the University, they are more likely to apply, increasing the overall enrollment, Elgin said.

Scott said the University has one of the highest Chinese student enrollments in the nation and Chinese students know they are welcome.

Kanjani Shukla, Indian Student Association vice president, said she was attracted to the University because there was already a large Indian population compared to other schools.

“I knew that I would be able to be involved in the Indian community,” she said.

This extensive research at the University also attracts students wanting to study science and technology, as many Indians do, she said.

Anil Patel, Minnesota International Student Association president, said the University has been increasing requirements for international students to continue its high rankings.

“It’s important for the University to be diverse because you get different aspects from different cultures,” he said. “You get to learn things about other cultures that you probably didn’t even realize.”

Patel said the number of Indian, Turkish and Chinese students in particular have increased because they are highly populated nations and are developing and competing in the world economy.

While international students often stay in the United States after graduation, many return home with their degrees.

Scott said international students are seeking doctorate and master’s degrees in a variety of fields.

“Having international students adds to the diversity of our enrollment,” Scott said. “That diversity is what contributes to an excellent education.”