IIE Networker - Spring 2008 - (Page 29)

Feature MAKING PARTNERSHIPS WORK THE FOLLOWING TWO articles discuss the role that university partnerships play in the recruitment of international students. First, Kathleen Teehan reports on UMass Boston’s partnership with Tsinghua University and the consequent increases in both Charlotte’s partnership with Vietnam National University and how a focus on mutual benefit bolsters their campus commitment to diversity as an “educational and business necessity.” international enrollment and student satisfaction. Next, Adam Beeson outlines UNC University of Massachusetts Boston and Tsinghua University Partnership By Kathleen Teehan University of Massachusetts Boston has long had a global vision that embraces both the large immigrant and trans-national populations of students it serves, as well as the growing number of international students. Maintaining a diverse student population is key to the mission of this urban university. Within this context, the campus committed to the necessary steps to turn around its post- 9/11 decline in international students by developing a new partnership model for student recruitment. Prior to 9/11, with little more than armchair recruiting, the university’s international student enrollment grew to be almost 9 percent of the undergraduate and graduate population. However, following 9/11, the international student population declined, with prospective students encountering more complicated I-20 and visa eligibility procedures and, until recently, more restrictive and less welcoming environment for opportunities to study in the U.S. With all of these challenges, the armchair approach to recruiting was no longer successful in producing the international enrollment results the campus desired. A Targeted Strategy To reverse this trend, it was necessary to adopt a different approach. The ESL population in Boston’s local language programs and schools had also declined, so this prospective student pool was no longer a major resource. Introducing international recruitment travel was not a viable option, both because of the expense and because the campus does not have residential facilities; casting a wide net without a significant increase in personalized services might lead to increases in applications but low yield, leaving everyone frustrated. The solution appeared to be a targeted strategy – initially focusing on one region – built around interested cohorts of students. At the same time, the Enrollment Management Division at UMass Boston began exploring new models for recruitment. The campus’ Division of Corporate, Continuing and Distance Education was making its first venture into short-term training and professional development programs for international audiences. One of their earliest programs was management training for mid-level professionals from Guangdong province in China. This offering brought additional inquiries from entities in China to the campus for other types of professional programs, just as China was also emerging as the area of interest for Enrollment. The obvious thing to do was for the divisions to join forces to develop and implement this international plan that was materializing on both sides. Two additional steps cemented the direction and the plan: bringing on a China expert with consulting experience and connections in China’s education sector, and drawing on the expertise of an internal “consulting” group of faculty members from China who contributed their ideas and connections to the plan. Trip to Beijing Leads to Partnership Agreement With a plan developing, expertise on hand and the support of the campus, we made our first journey to Beijing in 2003. This was the beginning of relationships that would eventually result in important partnerships, joint programs and ever-expanding opportunities for faculty and students. We met with numerous organizations and a variety of universities to explore possibilities for joint programs, exchanges, short term training and distance learning. The most important relationship forged as a result of that first trip was with Tsinghua University in Beijing. Both institutions, Tsinghua University and UMass Boston, were interested in providing student programming and, in particular, agreed to collaborate in the development of joint ventures. UMass Boston and the Center for Overseas Academic and Cultural Exchange at Tsinghua University signed a partnership agreement in October 2003, proposing three objectives: executive seminars, summer study programs for UMass students, and development of an Academic Bridge

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2008

IIE Networker - Spring 2008
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Best Practices in International Education: 2008 Andrew Heiskell Awards
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series A Conversation with President M. W. Scogggins, Colorado School of Mines
Measuring Return on Investment in International Student Recruitment
Making Partnerships Work
Campus View
Latin America
International Students
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Spring 2008