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UNH international student population has doubled in five years

Sunday News Correspondent

February 25. 2018 2:56AM

More students from overseas are choosing UNH for college. A majority of growth has been in the Chinese student population. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent file photo)

DURHAM - The University of New Hampshire has more than doubled its population of international students in the last five years.

According to data collected by the school, there were 339 undergraduate and graduate international students in the fall of 2012. This past fall, UNH had 781 undergraduate and graduate international students.

The biggest growth has been in the undergraduate population. In 2012, there were only 98 undergraduate international students enrolled in classes.

By 2017, that number had risen to 479.

Of those undergraduate students, 257 are from China. The total Chinese student population at UNH is 357.

Victoria Dutcher, vice president for enrollment management, said Thursday that China is the world's leading exporter of students to the United States.

Fifty-two students from India, 39 students from Iran and 39 students from Canada comprise other large groups of international students at UNH.

Dutcher said many of the international students who choose UNH come to the school because of the business and engineering programs offered.

With a total international recruitment budget of $150,000, admissions officers at UNH try to think about the most cost-effective ways to attract students from other parts of the globe. They advertise digitally and meet with representatives from foreign nations when they are in the United States.

Earlier this month, Dutcher was at the 16th Washington International Education Conference in the nation's capital. She said a focus was on modern challenges in the complex world of international enrollment.

Dutcher said President Donald Trump's latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries has students from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen skeptical about studying in the U.S.

Obtaining work visas in the U.S. is another issue on the minds of students who may want to study in this country, Dutcher said.

Canada is becoming more popular for international students looking to study abroad, she said, due to these issues.

International students still understand the high quality of education provided by colleges and universities in the U.S., so UNH officials are confident that their international program will continue to grow and add to a diverse campus.

Dutcher said having that diversity is good for everyone in the student body.

"We think it's important that our students, no matter where they come from, understand they will be living and working in a global economy," Dutcher said.

In the fall of 2017, there were 12,847 undergraduate students and 2,219 graduate students at UNH.

The admissions application deadline for fall of 2018 was Feb. 1. The school had 19,815 total applicants this year.

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