Colo. schools luring more foreign students

CO schools luring more foreign students

A new Colorado law freeing state universities to recruit more international students has prompted schools to begin aggressively courting foreigners who want to study in the United States — and pay higher tuition.

The Daily Camera reports ( ) that Colorado State University is seriously considering hiring an outside agency to recruit more international students.

Meanwhile, the University of Colorado has begun sending counselors to countries and regions that have well-known feeder schools to the Boulder campus, including China and the Middle East.

Legislation signed into law last year loosens the state’s reins on public universities and allows schools to recruit more international students.

State laws previously required Colorado universities to limit the number of nonresident students to one-third of its student population. The law now excludes international students from that cap. International students typically pay much more for tuition than in-state students and can help backfill money lost from state budget cuts.

CSU this year enrolled 900 foreign students, who make up roughly 1.5 percent of the student body. Enrollment of foreign students at CU this fall reached a record high, with 1,481 international students counted during the campus census. Those students make up about 5 percent of the total student body.

Kyle Henley, a spokesman for CSU, confirmed that the school is considering contracting with INTO University Partnerships, a British-based organization. The organization works to boost universities’ international reputations, helping recruit foreign students who want to study in the United States. INTO has partnered with colleges such as Oregon State University and the University of South Florida.

“We’re still weighing it,” said Henley.

University of Colorado officials say they’re using in-house recruitment staff so far.

“We’re going to go a couple of years with our own international strategy that we’re running in-house before we even think about ratcheting it up with a contractor,” said CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard.

Over the past year, CU has increased its foreign enrollment by 23 percent but is still nowhere near other schools in the PAC-12 such as the University of Southern California, which enrolls 8,615 international students, or the University of California-Los Angeles, which enrolls 6,249 foreign students.

Old-fashioned word-of-mouth is what brought Abigail Cymberknopf, 21, from Israel to CU to study law.

Cymberknopf, who is from the Tel Aviv area, said she considered studying in Germany, Italy, Hong Kong and at universities in Florida.

“I decided to go to CU in the end because I heard from a friend who came here on an exchange program that Colorado is amazing and the campus is full of activities and fun things to do,” she said. “So, I was really curious to see what it’s all about. I’m so happy with my decision to come here.”

Enrollment of foreign students at universities across the country is booming and making full recoveries from the post-9/11 slump when U.S.-bound students faced difficulties obtaining visas.

International students studying at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 5 percent to 723,277 this school year, according to the Open Doors report that is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This represents a record high number of international students in the United States.