International students wanted

  The Board of Trustees has approved a new deal to extend UVM’s international reach. Chris Lucier, Vice President for Enrollment Managements, went in front of the Board to advocate a one-year renewal of the U.S. Sino Pathway Program in which Kaplan in China and Northeastern University will partner with UVM. “Can we continue to be a high-degree University with a 1.4 percent international enrollment? Probably not,” Lucier said. The U.S. Sino Pathways program brings academically promising Chinese students to several universities in the states. The program has increased international enrollment at UVM from 0.6 percent two years ago to 1.4 percent this year.  “When you look at other nationally rank universities, their international enrollment ranges from 5 to 11 percent,” he said. The first year the program was enacted, in the summer of 2010, 28 students were brought from China. Of those students, 23 made it to the second semester, with an accumulative GPA of 2.63. This summer, 37 students were brought in from China. Of which 36 made it to the second semester. One was dismissed because of academic dishonesty, and two more joined from Northeastern University during the Summer Bridge Program. The students have been very promising: one student at the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences with a 3.84 GPA, one student in the Honors College, another being inducted into the Engineering Honors Society, six students from the School of Business in the Dean’s List, and even two SGA senators. “We have monitored their social integration,” Lucier said. “How are they integrating in the University, Burlington and in the U.S? How are their professors and staff interacting with the students?  We talked to faculty and staff, who have been thankful that we are seeking international enrollment, he said. But there remains a lot of improvement from Kaplan and Northeastern University. “We want an improved the system of recruit so we have a constant flow of students. We are looking for ways to advance international presence while keeping our options open,” Gayle Nunley, associate provost, said. The program will now begin to scout students from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia; after the Board of Trustees approved the one year contract with Northeastern University and Kaplan.  “Our goal is to prepare the students to be on track towards their degree,” said Nunley. “We want to recruit students [that] are not already at a high degree of English, but can get there.” Their first semester in Vermont would include courses in English/College Writing and Exploring America, to help prepare students adjust to American life. Some students said that the U.S. Sino Pathways program has opened many opportunities for the students enrolled. “The major reason [I came] was to experience the real America. To learn things that you can’t learn in China,” first-year Ziyi Peng said. “Not just the curriculum, but the way people are. Americans have many adventures; [and] I hope to learn from them.” “My favorite class here is English,” Peng said. “We can share our own ideas and learn many [more] new ideas from others that you can’t always do in China.” More students want an international experience, Lucier said. Socially, politically, financially, your lifetime will be defined by your interactions with people around the globe.  “We aren’t doing the best to provide the best education for our students.”