Global Engagement

 

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Global Engagement at the University of Michigan

Global Engagement:
A Snapshot of Internationalization

Introduction

The University of Michigan admitted its first international students in 1847, one from Mexico and one from Wales. Today there are well over 4,500 students from more than 115 countries on campus (see figure below). Dozens of international student organizations have been established in recent years, most of which are engaged in social activities and, increasingly, in the organization of outreach events designed to educate the University and local communities about different cultures from around the world. This international student population is one of University’s most valuable resources and ready to be engaged at all levels of our internationalization efforts.

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International student enrollment in 2008 (Top Ten Countries).
Source: International Center’s 2008 Statistical Report

The University of Michigan is renowned for having the largest number of living alumni in the world, with over 460,000 people worldwide holding University degrees. The number of alumni living and working abroad is already large, representing 170 countries, and it will continue to grow as more international students enroll at the University and more U.S. students move abroad. The University’s alumni are as geographically diverse as the student population on campus (figure below). To facilitate communication and networking with alumni abroad, the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan has created a list of international alumni contacts in about thirty countries.

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Alumni and Friends of the University of Michigan around the world (winter 2009).
Source: U-M Alumni Association.

In fall 2008, more than 7,000 international students, scholars, faculty, and staff were studying or working at the University of Michigan. Based on 2007-08 data from the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors 2008 report, the University ranked sixth nationally among U.S. universities and third among public research institutions in terms of international students.

Significant change has already occurred over the past decade. A comparison of enrollment, demographics, and related data for 2000, 2004, and 2008 is shown in the table below. Since 2000, the international student enrollment has increased by as much as 25%, while international scholars increased by an even greater percentage. Education abroad also increased significantly, although data for 2000 may suffer from incomplete reporting. In recent years, the University’s International Center has been producing a statistical report that examines trends and demographics on students, faculty, and staff, allowing better insight into the scope of our various activities. The data in the table below are mostly from the International Center and the University’s submissions to IIE’s Open Doors reports.

 

2000

2004

2008

change
since 2000

International enrollment

3,426

4,343

4,574

25.1%

% international of total

9.0%

11.0%

11.2%

 

 male

2320

2881

2984

22.3%

female

1106

1462

1590

30.4%

undergraduate

991

1151

1300

23.8%

graduate/professional

2396

3144

3221

25.6%

By region

 

 

 

 

Asia

2,314

3,176

3,421

32.4%

Australia/Pacific

35

52

43

18.6%

Europe

384

374

308

-24.7%

Latin America

227

226

267

15.0%

Middle East/ N. Africa

218

230

244

10.7%

N. America

205

235

236

13.1%

Sub-Saharan Africa

39

50

55

29.1%

By citizenship (top ten)

 

 

 

 

PRC (incl. Hong Kong & Macau)

600

851

1,000

40.0%

India

430

588

803

46.5%

South Korea

472

751

775

39.1%

Canada

194

235

236

17.8%

Taiwan

230

261

231

0.4%

Malaysia

58

138

135

57.0%

Singapore

171

188

119

-43.7%

Japan

132

150

109

-21.1%

Indonesia

90

92

85

-5.9%

Turkey

92

98

72

-27.8%

Education abroad

1,365

1,533

3,191

57.2%

Study abroad

995

1,103

2,055

51.6%

% male

 

 21.8%

37.8%

 

% female

 

 48.9%

59.0%

 

% UM

 56.8%

 65%

78.5%

 

% non-UM

 43.2%

 31.8%

21.5%

 

% undergraduate

 89.2%

 86.1%

79.2%

 

% graduate/professional

 10.8%

 13.9%

20.8%

 

Co-curricular

370

430

1,136

67.4%

% undergraduate

 

 

51.1%

 

% graduate/post graduate

 

 

48.9%

 

International scholars

1301

1291

1856

29.9%

% male

71.8%

67.0%

65.6%

 

% female

28.2%

33.0%

34.4%

 

International employees

1197

1383

1512

20.8%

% male

64.3%

64.9%

64.4%

 

% female

35.7%

35.0%

35.6%

 

Source: International Center (Open Doors reports). Note: 2000=AY98/99, 2004=AY02/03, 2008=AY06/07; totals do not add to 100% in all categories because of “unknown”.
The Open Doors report includes both enrolled students and those on Optional Practical Training (one year work authorization after completion of studies). For example, Open Doors 2008 indicates that U-M “hosted” 5,748 international students in fall Semester 2007, as opposed to 4,455 reported as enrolled by the Office of the Registrar.

 

The 2008 record of our undergraduate and graduate students’ experiences abroad illustrates that study-abroad experiences reflect a mix of curricular and co-curricular activities, and a mix of credit and non-credit experiences (figure below).

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Graduate and undergraduate educational experiences abroad.
Co-curricular activities are not for academic credit. The data include 2,209 undergraduate students, 824 graduate students, 158 post-graduates; total: 3,191 students. Undergraduate educational experiences only, the data include 1,628 for credit, 739 co-curricular education (includes post-graduates); total: 2,367 students.
Source: International Center’s 2008 Statistical Report.

Limiting these data to undergraduate students only, we find that study abroad experiences include a considerable component of non-University offerings (figure above), possibly reflecting the type of offerings currently available and cost issues, which we can address in our future plans. Our 2008 survey of graduating seniors (described below) sheds additional light on the choices of our students by including a specific set of questions on their international experiences.

 

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