Universities of Wisconsin Plan to Admit More International Students

United States North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Jan 09, 2024

University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin System is planning to admit more international students over the next five years in a bid to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic impact.

The school also wants to double international student numbers as it aims to bridge the gap with neighboring states, given it is lagging behind them, Erudera.com reports.

The reason why the Universities of Wisconsin plan to admit more international students is not only to improve finances and overall enrollment but also to have a diverse campus.

Commenting on these plans, the Interim Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Johannes Britz, emphasized the importance of creating diverse campuses.

“So being international myself, ending up in Wisconsin, working in Wisconsin, I always thought we should recruit more international students. Not just for monetary value but just the cultural value, just the discovery. I believe Wisconsin is one of the most beautiful places in the world,” he told the Wisconsin State Journal.

Currently, international students make up nearly 4 percent of the UW system’s undergraduate population, with UW-Madison leading with around 10 percent of international undergraduates.

Britz said international undergraduate student enrollment at the UW system should rise 8 percent by 2028. The UW system aims to achieve this goal by promoting its degree programs and addressing workforce shortages in crucial industries.

Sectors facing a shortage of skilled workers include health sciences, engineering, data and computer sciences, and business.

The daily newspaper further reports that to realize its ambitious goals, the UW System is strategically partnering with Shorelight, an international recruitment firm facilitating connections between students and universities across the United States.

Under a $32 million workforce development plan introduced earlier in the year, the school intends to expand its degree offerings in areas of high demand, such as artificial intelligence and nursing.

About 161,000 students are studying at the University of Wisconsin system, which also employs nearly 35,000 faculty and staff across the state.

It consists of 13 universities nationwide and has an annual budget totaling $6.5 billion, including $1 billion in state funding.

Moreover, the system has additional support through gifts, grants, and contracts, which reach the amount of $1.9 billion. These universities award nearly 37,000 degrees each year.

Earlier, the University of Wisconsin System said it was planning to suspend in-person classes at two two-year branch campuses by the upcoming year due to a consistent decrease in student enrollment for over a decade.

Another reason the university considered suspending in-person classes is an increase in students preferring to study online.

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