University of Nebraska international student enrollment reaches record high

November 15, 2013

International student enrollment at the University of Nebraska has reached another record high this fall, continuing NU’s momentum in attracting talent from around the world, according to a presentation today to the Board of Regents. News of NU’s record international enrollment comes during International Education Week, going on now.

International student enrollment this fall is 3,638, a 4.7 percent increase over last year, the Board learned. The students represent more than 130 different countries, with the most common countries of origin being China, India and South Korea. An increasing number of students also are coming to NU from Brazil and Oman. The university has established a goal to double international enrollment, to about 6,000, by 2020.

As they did last year, NU President James B. Milliken and Gov. Dave Heineman are joining to host welcome events for new international students at the four campuses and celebrate Nebraska’s continued progress in attracting global talent. Receptions in Lincoln and Kearney were held earlier this month, with a reception in Omaha to come next week.

“I’m very pleased that a growing number of talented students from around the world are choosing to study at the University of Nebraska,” Milliken said. “International students add a great deal of diversity and richness to our campuses and communities. Their presence is a tremendous benefit to our U.S.-born students, who are more prepared to succeed in today’s global economy after living and working with students of different backgrounds.”

Milliken added, “I thank Governor Heineman for his partnership in welcoming a new class of international students to Nebraska. The Governor completely gets the educational value and the value to our state of welcoming these bright young people from around the world.”

NU’s success has come as a result of its focus on developing strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships with targeted countries, including China, India and Brazil. The university has been recognized as a leading host institution for Brazilian students participating in the Scientific Mobility Program, which is sending 100,000 of Brazil’s best and brightest students to study at the world’s leading universities. New collaborations also are emerging with Oman, Turkey, Japan and other countries that are interested in sending more of their students abroad.

Milliken noted that beyond the cultural and educational benefits that they bring, international students have a significant economic impact. The newest version of the Institute of International Education’s annual “Open Doors” report – issued this week in conjunction with International Education Week – found that international students added more than $110 million to Nebraska’s economy in 2012-13. Across all 50 states, international students had an economic impact of about $24 billion, according to the report.

In addition to significantly increasing international enrollment, the university’s strategy for global engagement also includes increasing the number of students who study abroad, expanding opportunities for faculty members to collaborate with peers around the world, and creating 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