To a cash-strapped public university, the promise of hundreds of new international applicants each year, paying full out-of-state tuition and spreading the institution’s name around the world, might be too good to pass up.
The law of supply and demand drove SKEMA, a French business school, to open campuses in the emerging markets of China and Morocco, and to start planning for expansion into India, Brazil and possibly Russia.
But the decision to set up shop in the United States was driven by something a bit more emotional. “For European students, this is a dream; America is a dream for them,” says Alice Guilhon, the school’s dean. “And it is a dream for us, to be known in the U.S.”
In higher education, change rarely happens quickly. Not so when it comes to hiring overseas agencies -- paid by the college in the form of per-student commissions -- to recruit international students. Two years ago the topic was taboo, and few colleges would publicly admit to the practice, which is illegal under U.S. law when it comes to recruiting American students.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- At the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference, sessions focused on every aspect of the international student experience -- recruitment and admissions, student and residential life, and challenges in the classroom. The attendees, more than 7,000 of them, discussed every category of international student and scholar, those in the United States on F visas, Js and Ms. On Friday, the final day of the conference, a session focused on a segment of students who don’t fit into any legal category – the undocumented.
At a time when the liberal arts sector feels ever-increasing pressure to justify its own existence, and when colleges are feeling a greater and greater need to globalize, a bit of assistance on both these fronts has come from an unlikely source: three unassuming Chinese undergraduates, each of them attending an American liberal arts college.
U.S. colleges have increasingly turned to for-profit companies for help in recruiting international students. Now, with the growing popularity of “pathway” programs -- which feature a hybrid of credit-bearing coursework and instruction in English language and academic skills -- some institutions are also outsourcing the responsibility for teaching and supporting international students their first year on campus.