2021 SEM Update - Goal 9


Goal  9  Increase international undergraduate enrollment

  • We have seen an increase in the number of international students enrolled in classes at WSU in recent years.  Much of this growth is due to online offerings for non-degree bound students that do not require the student to get a US visa (yellow line below).  Our new (green line) and returning (grey line) international student numbers are declining based on pandemic realities. International education fairs as well as TOEFL and other testing services were cancelled in many locations abroad.  This and travel bans have made it harder to connect with prospective students, and for them to complete the requirements necessary to secure student visas.
  • WSU continues to explore new markets to recruit international students, however.  Staff and students in the international office exchange more than 40,000 emails annually to answer questions for individual prospective students and walk them through the legal processes to obtain a visa. 

This chart shows four trend lines over the fall census years 2015 through 2020.  The first is the total undergraduate numbers, which grow from about 850 to close to 1,400 in 2020.  The next is the number of undergraduate returning students, which starts at about 600 and drops to about 500 in 2020.  The third is Undergraduates new for fall, which start at about 100, and show a little growth in 2016 before a shallow slope downwards towards 2020, which is slightly lower than the trend line started in2015.  And the Non-degree seeking students, both returning and new, start low in 2015, and show a sharp growth rate over the years, rising from about 150 to about 800 in 2020.

Recruitment and Retention Tips:

  • Consider attending the international student orientation to welcome these students to campus or hosting a welcome event in your own office/department for those international students in your program.  
  • Offering additional online courses may help international students who are unable to travel to the US in upcoming terms due to travel restrictions. 

SEM Shout Outs:    

  • To all the departmental transfer credit evaluators who provide a quick turn around on the transfer credit requests.
  • To Fai Tai, Jessa Roberts, Jingdi Zhang, and Sam Eastes, International Education Marketing Team, for attending numerous virtual educational fairs, working closely with approximately 800 agents to spread the word about WSU, keeping prospective students engaged using Zoom, social media, and other online tools.
  • To Ann Burger, International Education, for attracting high achieving BECAL scholarship recipients from Paraguay,  conducting numerous Study Abroad Information Webinars and Study Abroad counseling sessions, and actively encouraging our exchange partners to send more students to WSU.
  • To Michelle Barger, International Education, for communicating with and admitting 584 badge students for Fall 2020 – our largest enrollment of international badge students to date, and for tracking and awarding scholarships to new admits to boost Intensive English and international undergraduate enrollment.