Governor, University of Nebraska president celebrate growth in international student enrollment

November 14, 2012

In advance of International Education Week, going on now, Gov. Dave Heineman and University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken joined to host welcome events for new international students at the four campuses and celebrate NU’s continued growth in international student enrollment.

Hundreds of students representing countries around the world attended the events, which took place throughout the fall at the Governor’s Residence in Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska at Kearney campuses. The events aimed to especially welcome new international students to Nebraska; overall, NU’s international student enrollment is 3,475 this fall – a record high and a 10 percent increase over last year.

“I’m very pleased that the number of international students on our four campuses continues to grow, and I thank Governor Heineman for his partnership in welcoming these students to Nebraska and sending the important message that our state values the talents, perspective and contributions of individuals from around the world,” Milliken said.

Milliken added, “International students are a tremendous educational and cultural benefit to the university and state. We have a responsibility to prepare our students to live and work in a global economy, and ensuring that they interact with a diverse population while they are in college is one way to meet that responsibility.”

Governor Heineman said, “In today’s global economy, it is more important than ever for Nebraska to be successful in attracting talent from around the world. International students bring valuable skills, creativity and diverse perspectives to our state, and the benefits extend well beyond the university’s campuses. Our international engagement fosters important collaborations that are beneficial both for our partners around the globe and Nebraska. I applaud the University of Nebraska’s continued success in this area.”

A report released this week by the Institute of International Education shows that international students are contributing more than $98 million to Nebraska’s economy this year. Nationally, international students have a $22.7 billion economic impact, according to the report, “Open Doors,” which is released annually by IIE.

NU’s strategy for global engagement includes a goal to double international student enrollment, to more than 6,000, by 2020. The university has strong momentum in this area, for example being recognized as a leading U.S. host institution for Brazilian students participating in that country’s Scientific Mobility Program, which is sending 100,000 of its best and brightest students to study at the world’s leading universities.

The university also aims to significantly increase the number of students who study abroad, and create more international partnerships focused on key areas like water and food security, early childhood education, public health and others important both to Nebraska and the world.

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska