UL SYSTEM RECRUITS INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS – May 28, 2008
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives from the University of Louisiana System and its eight universities are in Washington, D.C. this week participating in this year’s NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference, a prime opportunity for the campuses to promote opportunities to study in Louisiana as well as explore possibilities for study abroad.
“The NAFSA conference is the world’s largest and most significant international education event; attracting campus leaders, service providers, policy experts, and world leaders alike,” said Brad O’Hara, University of Louisiana System Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “This is a tremendous opportunity to market our eight schools globally and enhance international programming across the System.”
Although the conference provides educators with considerable professional development opportunities with networking, preconference seminars, special interest groups, and presentations by experts on global issues, the highlight of the week-long event is the exhibition hall where representatives from over 500 schools and educational agencies from countries such as Australia, Canada, China, France, Korea, India, and South Africa promote study abroad, institutional exchanges, and other international education possibilities. The UL System will be among those present.
Steve Horton, Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Northwestern State University, is hoping to extend his institution’s global reach at this year’s conference.
“We recently instituted an exchange agreement with Chungnam Province in Korea for Education and English students, and this semester, students from Louisiana Tech University joined our students abroad. This one program demonstrates the potential for international program development, not just at Northwestern but also across the entire University of Louisiana System,” said Horton.
It is the power of eight institutions and 80,000 students that, hopefully, will be attractive to educators across the globe.
“My school has many excellent academic programs and worldwide study abroad opportunities,” said Lisa Colvin, Director of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a first-time NAFSA conference attendee. “I can imagine that, when you enhance this with seven other institutions, each with their own strengths and unique academic offerings, the UL System will present a distinctive and appealing package to international educators and students.”
NAFSA reports that Louisiana ranks 31st nationally in the number of international students and that these students contributed over $106 million to Louisiana’s economy in 2006-07. The UL System currently enrolls 2,300 international students. “There is obviously room to grow and bring much benefit to our campuses and our State,” said O’Hara.
“Our universities have a responsibility to prepare students for living and working in a context of global interdependence,” said Sally Clausen, President of the University of Louisiana System. “That world perspective is enhanced greatly by the presence of international students on our campuses and by study abroad opportunities. Marketing our system in this manner is essential to ensure that those opportunities exist for our students.”
The conference, which concludes Friday, May 30, is expected to attract more than 9,000 individuals from over 100 countries. For more information about the NASFA conference, visit www.nafsa.org/washington.
The largest university system in Louisiana, the UL System enrolls approximately 80,000 students at the following eight universities: Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and University of Louisiana at Monroe.
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