Academic journal article Journal of International Students

Recruiting International Students to Your Campus

Academic journal article Journal of International Students

Recruiting International Students to Your Campus

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to determine what institutional, program, and recruitment characteristics influenced international students to attend institutions in the United States. Two hundred sixteen international students at a Southern public research university responded to the survey (53% response rate) from 56 countries representing 8 regions. An empirical analysis using t-tests and analysis of variance was conducted to determine what characteristics international students found to be most important when selecting an institution. Regardless of degree level, all students ranked faculty/student ratio as an important program characteristic. Second, students ranked both the admission process and time to degree as important characteristics. Third, doctoral, master's, and bachelor's students respectively ranked funding as an important characteristic in their decision making process. There are three basic implications for recruitment officers. First, as size matters, international students need to feel connected to faculty and staff. Second, institutions need to implement business strategies to improve efficiency and performance. Third, if the U.S. wants to continue to be a destination for international students, institutions and the federal government need to offer more funding.

Key Words: International Students, Recruitment Characteristics, Degree Programs

According to the Open Doors 2010 report (Bhandari, 2011), published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE), a record number of 690,923 international students studied in the U.S. in 2009/2010. The University of Southern California is the top United States institution for receiving international students (7,987) followed by the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (7,287), New York University (7,276), Purdue University (6,903), and Columbia University (6,833) for a total of 36,286. The primary nations of international student origin are China, India, South Korea, and Canada. What do these students study in the U.S.? It is no surprise to find these students majoring in business management, engineering, physical and life sciences, and mathematics and computer sciences (Bhandari, 2011). Nearly half of the PhD's in science and engineering have been awarded to international students since 2006 (Adnett, 2010). What can today's universities do to recruit students from abroad? Why are many U.S. campuses working diligently to recruit international students? What are the barriers to their recruitment efforts? In the process of attempting to recruit international students to our particular campus amid a global economic recession, the researchers examined why international students selected a large, public research university in the state of North Carolina and what strategies other institutions are implementing to make their campuses internationally appealing and diverse.

Although the previous research regarding international students is copious, this study focuses on the benefits of recruiting international students, barriers to recruitment efforts, current recruitment practices that attempt to overcome these barriers, and factors that contribute to students making their decision to attend a specific university in the U.S. Thus, the immediate purpose is to assist university administrators both to crafta systematic institutional approach and identify specific strategies for recruiting international students.

Literature Review

The literature focuses primarily on two distinct benefits concerning recruiting international students: cultural and economic. International students create a colorful heritage on our campuses (Bevis, 2002). Universities and colleges strive to create an environment on their campuses that is reflective of today's society and the world. A culturally-rich environment prepares students to interact with diverse populations and to develop global competence. This competence enables students to comprehend world events and develop plans and solutions to address the consequences of these occurrences (Reimers, 2009). …

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