The rise in global wealth means that more Oregon companies are doing business abroad and more international students can afford to come to Oregon to study. LCC aims to take advantage of these trends by recruiting students from around the world.
Jennifer Falzerano, director of International Programs, says that the increase in international students at Lane has two main benefits. It will expose Oregon students to people from other cultures, helping them prepare for a globalized workplace. Also, international students will increase enrollment and help the college balance the budget.
Jobs tied to international trade in Oregon have increased 110 percent since 1991, according to estimates by the Trade Partnership in Washington, D.C. and today one in five Oregon jobs have international connections. This suggests that LCC needs to prepare students for careers that involve working with diverse people from other cultures and an increasingly diverse workplace, says Falzerano.
An increased international student population at LCC is one solution. “When Oregon students have exposure to people around the globe, it helps them at their jobs and helps them get jobs,” Falzerano said.
Dave Oatman, the Dean of Lane’s business school, shares Falzerano’s view. He says economies around the globe are taking on similar characteristics, which facilitates international trade. “If one is going to be successful in business these days they have to have a pretty good understanding of diversity,” he said.
Oatman pointed out that many Eugene companies have a strong international presence, including Johnson Crushers International, a manufacturer of industrial rock crushers, and Bike Friday, the bicycle maker.
Waleed Alzubieri, a student from Yemen, says that his father’s business imports electric motors from the United States to Yemen. “I’m aiming at engineering,” Alzubieri said about his future plans. “I will help my father’s company to be better.”
Alzubieri says he heard about Lane at the international high school he attended in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. The director at his school, Robert Majure, is from the U.S. and was educated in Oregon. “He recommends students to go to LCC,” Alzubieri said.
With the college facing a budget shortfall around five million dollars this year, increasing international student enrollment can contribute towards offsetting declining student enrollment and reduced contributions from the state.
“It helps to bring in another revenue source for the college,” Falzerano said about the rise in international students. In 2010, Lane set the goal of having a student body that is ten percent international by 2020. By fall 2013, it had reached around two percent.
This is a policy that many U.S. colleges and universities are exploring to help make ends meet.
At Lane, international students pay similar tuition to out-of-state students. International students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits to maintain visa status.
The international student rate is $233 per credit, so the minimum cost per term for an international student, including a $12 per credit international fee and the student service fee, is $3093.30. In comparison, at $98 per credit, the cost of 12 credits for a resident is $1329.30, less than half as much.
This means that at minimum the 321 international students at Lane last fall brought in close to a million dollars in tuition.
Many countries are eager to cooperate. The rise in wealth in China is a well-known example, as more families are able to afford to send their children abroad. In Saudi Arabia, the King Abdullah scholarship provides funds for an education in the U.S. for many of its young citizens. Lane is one of the schools in the U.S. for which the scholarship is eligible, according to Falzerano. She added that ten percent of the King Abdullah scholarship recipients are women.
Lane has partnered with Capstone Vietnam to help recruit students from Vietnam. Luong Pham, a regional outreach coordinator, is in charge of these efforts.