The University of Cincinnati’s international student population is on the rise and in line with statewide numbers.
With a current population of five percent — or approximately 2,600 students — UC has the second largest population of international students in Ohio, said Jonathan Weller, director of UC International Admissions.
“About 60 percent of our international students are from Asia, but we try to enroll a very diverse population,” Weller said. “UC is currently home to students from China, India, Vietnam, Iraq, and we’re exploring Brazil and Turkey.”
There are a multitude of factors making UC an attractive choice for international students, Weller said.
“One of the big draws for undergraduates is the co-op program,” Weller said. “It’s a big opportunity for students that other schools don’t have. When we start talking to students about Cincinnati’s opportunities, medium sized city, low cost of living, family values and diversity - students really like that.”
One of the goals of the UC2019 Strategic Plan is to increase the number of international students to eight percent — the university is currently on track to meet that goal, Weller said.
“This goal is in line with more prestigious universities across the country because those universities already have an international population of eight percent,” Weller said.
The growth in international student enrollment at UC is part of a statewide trend at Ohio institutions of higher learning.
Ohio had the greatest percentage increase of international students in 2010-2011 — the most recent year that such data is available for — with 10.5 percent, according to the Open Doors report published by the Institute of International Education. Ohio is ranked eighth in the United States for enrollment of international students.
“Universities are being proactive about enrollment level and surviving financially,” Weller said. “The next large market is international students.”
Ohio State University has the most international students in Ohio with more than 5,500, according to their Office of International Affairs website.
Kent State University has approximately 2,000, according to its admissions website.
“Ohio has a large number of excellent public and private universities, and families abroad are interested in the lifestyle of the American Midwest where we enjoy academic quality and four beautiful seasons,” said David J. Keitges, director of international education at Miami University (MU).
At MU, five percent of the 20,780 undergraduates and 10 percent of the 2,459 students are international students, Keitges said.
“One of the strongest reasons for recruiting international students is that we feel as a university, we need to prepare our students for the 21st century global economy,” Weller said.