Kansas University nearly meets foreign student goal

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas University officials say they have nearly met a first-semester target of international students enrolled through a recruitment program.

Earlier this year, the university and company Shorelight Education formally announced a partnership for the International Academic Accelerator Program, which is aimed at increasing the school’s international enrollment to help diversify the student body.

About 7 percent of undergrads are from other countries, said Sara Rosen, KU’s senior vice provost for academic affairs. Overall, about 9 percent of the school’s students are international.

Officials had a goal of recruiting 60 students for its first semester in the program and ended up with 57 this fall, the Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/1y4VeS9 ) reported. The school aims to recruit 35 more students in the spring, 15 in the summer and about 225 in fall 2015.

The fall figure hasn’t been finalized yet by officials, but Todd Fritch, the program’s interim managing director, said it’s feasible.

“That’s a realistic goal based on how well KU is resonating in the market,” Fritch said. “It’s a very, very attractive institution.”

For about a $45,000 flat fee, the program provides about a year’s worth of room, board, tuition and activities for participating international students.

The program still lacks permanent hires for two of its top three jobs. Fritch is a Shorelight employee “loaned” to the school until it finds a permanent candidate, Rosen said. The ideal candidate would have Fritch’s international and academic background; ability to manage a budget and staff; and work both in higher education and private business systems.

“They really have to be able to bridge both of those worlds,” Rosen said. “All of us on the KU side and the Shorelight side agree it’s more important that we get the right person than we do it fast.”

Rosen said the school didn’t find a candidate over the summer and agreed with Shorelight to close the search. The company is now overseeing the search for a managing director.



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