KU places top 25 institutions for study abroad participation

Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 4:27 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - An annual report has placed the University of Kansas among the top 25 institutions for study abroad participation.

The University of Kansas says it ranks 22nd for undergraduate study abroad participation among public doctoral-granting higher education institutions. It said the 2020 Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange released the report during the week of Nov. 16.

According to KU, the Open Doors Report is an annual publication released by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It said the report provides baseline data on the state of international education before the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

KU said in the 2018-2019 academic year, it had 1,118 undergraduate study abroad students, accounting for 28.8% participation and contributed to the 22nd place ranking among 188 other doctoral-granting public higher education institutions. It said from the report released in November of 2019, it moved up one place in the rankings and had 5.7% more undergraduate students participate in study abroad.

According to KU, among all 991 reporting institutions, it ranks 57th in the total number of students studying abroad. It said in 2018-2019, a total of 1,323 graduate and undergraduate students participated in credit-bearing international activities, including overseas study, internships and research and service programs.

KU said the data in the report does not include students that are not U.S. citizens or those who travel abroad for noncredit activities like academic conferences, athletic competitions and performances. It said when domestic students participate in credit and noncredit international activities as well as international degree-seeking students studying abroad, the total comes up to 1,426 students that traveled internationally as part of an academic program in the 2018-2019 school year.

According to CASSIE - the Consortium for the Analysis of Student Success Through International Education, KU said students that participate in study abroad are 6% more likely to graduate in four years and earn a 0.12 higher GPA than otherwise similar students that did not study abroad. It said the positive effect of studying abroad is much stronger for students from underrepresented minorities, with four-year graduation rates improving by 11.6%.

KU said the positive outcomes continue even after graduation. It said in a September 2020 report that was issued by NAFSA and Emsi, the employment workforce benefits of education abroad include the development of skills like communication, leadership, problem-solving and time management. It said the skills are highly valued by employers and appeared in over 31 million unique job postings in 2019.

“The correlation between education abroad and positive academic and career outcomes makes increasing student access to and participation in these experiences imperative. One of the primary goals of KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement is to grow both the number and diversity of students engaging in our programs, such that the population of students who study abroad mirrors the KU undergraduate student population across academic disciplines, student demographics and other indicators,” said Angela Perryman, director of SAGE. “Initiatives such as KU’s participation in the ACE Internationalization Lab will directly support the achievement of this goal.”

According to KU, nationally, 347,099 U.S. students studied abroad during the 2018-2019 academic year, representing an increase of 1.6% from the previous year and marked a continuation of 10 years of growth in the study abroad programs.

KU said the Open Doors Report also showed that it ranked 112th in the nation for the number of international students enrolled on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses with 2,333 students enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year. It said it continues to be the institution with the highest international student enrollment in the state.

According to KU, nationally, 1,075,496 international students studied in the U.S. in 2019-2020, including those in academic programs and on Optional Practical Training. It said this shows a 1.8% decline nationally. More specifically, it said information on international student enrollments in the U.S. and state of Kansas will be forthcoming from IIE.

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