By Cliff Foster
MSU Denver is among 20 Colorado colleges and universities that are partnering with the state government and businesses to attract more international students to institutions of higher education in Colorado.
The initiative is called StudyColorado and its board of directors includes Cindy Anderson, the University’s assistant director of advising and director of international student services, and representatives from several other schools, the business community and the state departments of education and economic development. StudyColorado, which is housed in the state Department of Education, is developing a statewide higher education brand to promote Colorado colleges and universities to foreign students. The goal is to increase the number of international students and expand the countries of origin.
In effect, StudyColorado will serve as the international marketing department for member-institutions, directing students who want to study in the United States to the most appropriate Colorado school for their field of interest. Once under way, the effort will be a significant benefit for all the schools and particularly for MSU Denver and other institutions with limited recruiting resources and staff, Anderson says.
“StudyColorado will be able to do that active recruiting, building relationships with the folks on the ground in those countries, and sort of sell Metro on our behalf,” Anderson says. “We’re never going to have thousands of [international] students; that’s not the goal….But there’s a number we can comfortably target that’s appropriate for Metro.”
Between 1,100 and 1,200 students from 60 or so counties are studying at MSU Denver currently. Only about 150 of them hold F-1 visas, meaning they applied to the University in their home country and must leave the U.S. after completing their course of study. The majority of the other students with international backgrounds have come to the Denver metro area after being granted asylum by the federal government and are seeking permanent residency.
Besides StudyColorado, there are other University initiatives on behalf of international students.
Anderson says she is working closely with Ali Thobhani, executive director of the Office of International Studies, to expand short-term student and faculty exchanges between MSU Denver and higher education institutions overseas. Plans are also underway to promote social gatherings of international students, exchange students and anyone with an interest in global education.
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