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University’s global connections keep growing

November 15, 2017
large group of students walking across campusNew international students and mentors explore campus this past August. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Forbes also ranks University as No. 27 among ‘Best Colleges for International Students’

According to Open Doors 2017, the comprehensive report on international education trends released each November by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the University is continuing its growth in international engagement. According to Open Doors, the University ranks No. 73—up from No. 76 a year ago—for international student enrollment among the more than 1,500 U.S. institutions surveyed. With 3,621 international students studying here in the 2016-17 academic year, international students represent about 30 percent of the total student body.

“Educating a global student body is important because the world students enter upon graduation is increasingly connected and complex,” says Jane Gatewood, vice provost for global engagement. Gatewood leads and oversees initiatives related to the University’s global activities. “Our campus demographics reflect a trend seen around the world, both in educational environments and in professional ones. As students enter the workforce, they will find themselves working with colleagues who are from different backgrounds and other countries. Having an educational experience in which individuals are able to interact with, live with, collaborate with, and learn from peers from around the world helps our students develop valuable skills which will serve them throughout their lives,” said Gatewood.

Overall, the total number of international students in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 1,078,822 in 2016-17. However, Open Doors 2017 reports a 3 percent drop in new international students studying at colleges and universities across the U.S.—the first decline in 12 years. New York State is again the second leading host state for international students, just behind California. Students coming to New York from international origins bring a positive economic impact of nearly $4 billion statewide, according to the National Association of International Educators.

The Open Doors report also highlights the annual trends in U.S. students studying abroad. According to Open Doors, a total of 317 University students went abroad for an academic program in 2015-16, with most choosing to do so for a semester during their junior year. For the 2016-17 academic year, the Center for Education Abroad reports that 464 University students participated in an international learning experience.


International Education Week

The release of IIE’s Open Doors report also marks the celebration of International Education Week (IEW), a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States. The University is hosting several IEW events on campus from November 13-17 to highlight the contributions that international students make to Rochester, as well as the opportunities for U.S. students to have a global educational experience through the Center for Education Abroad. The full list of IEW events can be found at:


Forbes Ranks Rochester No. 27

Vice Provost for Global Engagement Jane Gatewood (left) meets with Consul General of China, Ambassador Zhang Qiyue, in New York City this November at a reception for educators. Yongji Xu, Education Counselor, is on the right.

Forbes Magazine has also recently ranked the University No. 27 among its “50 Best U.S. Colleges for International Students 2017” based on overall quality, international student population, international student graduation rate and percentage of students who pursue academic fields most popular among international students.

Gatewood says that the University has made marked progress in cultivating a rich academic and residential environment for students coming from all points of the world, as well as providing much-needed programs and services that support international students toward graduation.

“The University has a long history of international students and has always valued them as a part of the greater UR community,” said Gatewood. “While many challenges of college life are universal, international students have extra hurdles of living and studying in an environment entirely different from one they have experienced at home. UR prides itself on being a very culturally rich, inclusive, and welcoming place, mitigating these hurdles as much as possible, especially through our support systems on campus. And in this we strive to be ever better, modifying and making changes as new needs emerge.”

For more information on the University’s global activities, visit:

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