ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement yesterday hosted the 2013 session of its Leadership Network for International Education, which addressed the topic of recruiting and retaining undergraduate students from abroad. One theme that emerged was that international alumni are often the best recruiters of prospective students, so institutions best serve themselves by providing high-quality experiences on the way to degree completion for these individuals.
The day began with a look at who international students are, in terms of data such as level of education, field of study, country of origin, age and other pertinent information. A session on examining an institution’s assets for internationalization explored the planning, resources and allies needed to successfully support these students on campus.
An afternoon panel explored the hot topic of the use of agents in bringing in students from abroad. Joyce Smith, chief executive officer of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, discussed the organization’s policy on the topic, and Karin Fischer, senior reporter from The Chronicle of Higher Education, shared the media perspective, noting that agents in foreign countries have been known to falsify transcripts, among other observations.
To finish the day, a panel examined how the recruitment of international students is a factor in driving internationalization, but it is not sufficient as a strategy unless it is embedded in a regularly reviewed plan for comprehensive internationalization.
In addition to the formal presentations, presidents, provosts and international officers representing an array of regionally diverse institutions used the meeting as a chance to network, and share best practices within sectors.
Read more about the issue of international student recruitment from ACE Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives Patti McGill Peterson on Higher Education Today.