CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 600 international students from 29 different countries are enrolled this fall at INTO Oregon State University, exceeding the original goal of 483 students by 26 percent.
The university has sought to increase its international student enrollment, which in the last decade had dropped to a total of about 4.5 percent of the overall student enrollment. OSU’s strategic plan aims for an international student enrollment of 10 percent within five years. Oregon State’s partnership with INTO University Partnerships is “an integral part of our strategy to meet those goals,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU’s provost and executive vice president.
“We still have work to do, but this is an excellent start,” Randhawa said. “International students provide diverse perspectives to our campus community and INTO OSU has been quite successful in identifying and bringing to campus students who have the skills and motivation to be successful.”
OSU formally joined forces with INTO in November of 2008, the first university in the United States to partner with the United Kingdom-based company. In addition to goals of increasing international enrollment and broadening campus diversity, OSU sought to expand academic offerings for international students and provide “market-leading preparation and support services designed specifically for international students,” Randhawa said.
INTO OSU students are enrolled in a variety of academic “Pathway” and English language programs designed and taught by OSU faculty to prepare them for successful transition to undergraduate or graduate studies at the university.
The INTO OSU Pathway experience offers international students a full year of instruction and a breadth of support services to accelerate their success.
“Students live in OSU residence halls, enjoy campus resources and are fully integrated into OSU campus life,” said Amy McGowan, the director of INTO OSU. “The outcome is a cohort of international students who are academically prepared to progress with confidence to their chosen degree program at OSU.”
Of the student cohort that started and completed its Pathway program last academic year, 86 percent of the students had met OSU’s progression requirements as second-year students eligible to matriculate.
“We originally had projected an overall progression rate of 60 to 70 percent,” McGowan said, “so we are thrilled with these results.”
Of those students eligible to enroll in their second year at OSU, she added, 99 percent had done so.
In addition to providing cultural diversity and different perspectives to the university and the Corvallis community, the international students also provide additional revenues. OSU officials estimate that former INTO OSU students who have now matriculated as second-year students at OSU for fall term of 2010 will generate approximately $3 million in revenue annually over the next three years to the university and the city of Corvallis.