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PSU competes for international students

November 25, 2009 12:00AM

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President Steve Scott, right, with Chuck Olcese, visit with potential PSU students in Vietnam

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"International students are a very important part of our campus," Scott said. "Everyone understands the important cultural enrichment that takes place when international students come to our campus and our community. Beyond that, there is also an important financial contribution that international students make." "
~ President Steve Scott
act that Dr. Steve Scott's first international trip after being named president of Pittsburg State University was to southeast Asia is a reflection not only of the interest in that part of the world in American higher education, but also of how important international students are to PSU's future.

"There continues to be a great demand for American higher education in these developing nations, because they recognize its value," Scott said.

Scott, along with Chuck Olcese, director of International Programs and Services at PSU, recently visited Thailand and Vietnam. Olcese went on to India to oversee the opening of an office in that country.

In Thailand, the president met with a group of PSU alumni. In Vietnam, Scott and Olcese visited universities and met with students.

"International students are a very important part of our campus," Scott said. "Everyone understands the important cultural enrichment that takes place when international students come to our campus and our community. Beyond that, there is also an important financial contribution that international students make."

International students typically pay out-state rates, which are higher than in-state rates. This year, for example, a Kansas student paid $2,296 in fees and tuition per semester. A similar international student would pay $6,558. Those rates can vary when students come from universities that have exchange agreements with PSU.

Based upon the Institute of International Education's recently released "Open Doors 2009" report, the Association of International Educators estimates that "foreign students and their dependents contributed approximately $17.6 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2008-2009 academic year." For Kansas, that figure was $159.3 million and at Pittsburg State, it was almost $11.6 million, which was fourth behind KU, K-State and Wichita State University.

Olcese noted that competition for international students is robust, with the U.S., Great Britain and Australia the most popular options for students in Asia.

"Pittsburg State University has traditionally had a healthy international student population and is in a good position to attract a significant number of international students in the future," Scott said. "We have excellent programs in areas that are of interest to them and our international graduates are great ambassadors for us."

The president said that the recruitment of international students is just one part of the university's enrollment strategy.

"Pittsburg State is working on a number of fronts," Scott said. "Those include recruiting students locally, regionally and in growth areas of the U.S. It also includes retaining and supporting students once they arrive, so they are successful in achieving their educational goals."

©2009 Pittsburg State University