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Banner Year For International Student Enrollment At HT

Banner Year For International Student Enrollment At HT

January 19, 2022

By Dr. Steven Edmond 

Not long ago, I remember walking into the campus cafeteria and noticing a table of students that reminded me of the United Nations. This table had students from at least six different countries. I thought that this scene was notable in that these students, all from various parts of the world, were sharing experiences and learning from each other while preparing for their future roles as global leaders.

It was a joy in 2015 when our new HT president Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette expressed her support to increase the enrollment of F-1 international students.

In 2020-2021, our enrollment of international students declined when COVID-19 became a worldwide pandemic. In 2021-2022, HT enrolled 20 new international students on F-1 visas, a far cry from previous years. Adding these 20 new F-1 international students to the eight returning F-1 students, as of Spring 2022, HT has a total of 28 F-1 international students.

HT has been fortunate to recruit some of the most brilliant and capable young men and women worldwide. In 2021-2022, these “citizens of the world” have come from Australia, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, South Africa, and Spain.

International students add to the diversity and enhance the University community. Interactions with international students, both in the classroom and through cultural and social activities, support student learning. HT students, faculty, and staff are exposed to various cultural, religious, and ethnic activities. Also, in a classroom setting, U.S. students are provided with insight into how students with different backgrounds think about solving issues.

International students appear to transition smoothly into the HT and Austin environments. Computer Science major Zainab Khan from Pakistan said Austin’s very diverse community makes it easy to fit in.

“There is so much to experience here at HT and in Austin,” Khan said. “I am enjoying the educational environment, meeting new people from all parts of the globe, and relishing in the local and international food scene. There is just so much to add to one’s life experience.”

Our goal at HT is to continue this momentum of attracting and enrolling F-1 international students. Working in conjunction with Enrollment Management, the Office of International Students (OIP) has set a goal of enrolling at least 25 new F-1 international students in 2022-2023.

Dr. Steven Edmond is Dean and Professor Emeritus in the School of Business and Technology at Huston-Tillotson University.