[This article was originally published in 2011]
Dayton, Ohio — International students are enrolling at some local colleges in record numbers, due in large part to a nationwide surge in undergraduates from China.
Wright State University, Miami University and University of Dayton this year all shattered their previous enrollment records for international students, and Chinese students accounted for 46 percent of their combined foreign-student populations, according to the schools.
About 1,268 Chinese students are attending the three universities this year, and enrollment of Chinese students across Ohio continues to grow at a time when enrollment of students from other countries has slowed or declined, a new report found.
Local college officials said international students promote cultural diversity on campus and expose American students to foreign perspectives that will prepare them for life and work in a global marketplace. They also inject $662 million into the Ohio economy, according to Open Doors 2011, a report released this week by the New York-based Institute of International Education.
As for the foreign students themselves, officials said they value degrees from U.S. colleges because the country’s higher education system is revered worldwide, and there are limited top-notch educational opportunities in their homelands.
College officials said it is important to have a strong Web presence to market their programs, but they also rely on international recruiters and partnerships with colleges abroad.
Wright State this year signed dual-degree agreements with four universities in China that allows Chinese students to seek graduate degrees from the school. The college also has a student-exchange agreement with Dalian Jiaotong University in China in which the school sends students to Wright State to complete master’s programs in engineering and business.
[With much of our sensitive military technology falling into the hands of the Chinese government in recent years, it is important to note that the universities mentioned above all have excellent engineering programs, and are all located near one of our military bases where major defense-related research and development is done. Engineering students in such programs often gain access to our leading-edge technology through university partnerships with the Department of Defense and their associated contractors throughout the US. Perhaps it's time to take a very close look at that. --Editor]
[Related: China’s Intelligence Networks in United States Include 25,000 Spies]