The Future of Higher Education

During the 2014-2015 school year, undergraduate and graduate international students studied in U.S. colleges and universities are 974,926, 10 percent more than the previous year, according to 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released by the Institute of International Education. I think higher education institutions need to do a much better job to bring domestic and international students together in an intentional way as international students add to a university’s mission of internationalization and global engagement.

There is a study applied a cross-sectional survey to undergraduate and graduate international students enrolled at a public university in the Midwest (Urban & Palmer, 2014). It collected international students’ perceptions on how the universities has engaged them as cultural resources in support of a strategic goal of global engagement and found that international students are not actively engaged as cultural resources.

At Virginia Tech, we have international street fair which provide an opportunity to international students to share the information about their countries, cultures, food, customs, music, and cultural beliefs. We have courses about diversity. We also have special activities and projects to interact with international students. These are good approaches to integrate international students and domestic students. I think we could do more.



Urban, Ewa L., and Louann Bierlein Palmer. “International students as a resource for internationalization of higher education.” Journal of Studies in International Education (2013).

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