University Expands International Outreach

By Samantha Phillips

The enrollment of Chinese students at Youngstown State University doubled after faculty went on a recruitment trip to China last year. Drawing from the success of that trip, faculty will be visiting universities at China, Korea and Japan in October to recruit students and form partnerships with universities.

Nathan Myers, assistant provost for International and Global Initiatives, will be leading the trip. YSU Provost Martin Abraham will be accompanying him to China and Taiwan.

“The primary goal is to build relationships, and to create partnerships with these overseas institutions which, in turn, will create opportunities for our study abroad program,” Abraham said.

One goal of this trip is to add more university partners, which may result in more international students enrolling at YSU on a regular basis.

They are looking to recruit long-term students, who will graduate from YSU, and short-term students, who will take summer courses or be involved in an articulation agreement, said Abraham.

The Center of International Studies and Programs’ Summer in America program will be promoted. This three-week course gives international students language and cultural activities to do and helps them decide if they want to pursue an education at YSU.

Myers’ first stop will be Tokyo, Japan, on Oct. 4. There, he will visit universities and meet with agents who coordinate university partnerships.

“I have about four meetings set up in Tokyo, one of which is at the U.S. embassy, and there I will be giving a presentation about YSU to the educational U.S. advisers,” he said.

After three days, he will head to Seoul, South Korea. Hae-Jong Lee, director of Choral Activities, already had a trip to Korea planned for October, because he was invited to conduct a youth chorale and judge competition choirs at an international choir festival.

Lee said he will be visiting four or five universities with Myers to achieve his goal of recruiting students and creating partnerships. It’s his goal to help establish connections in Korea that will help them reach Korean students and let YSU students study in Korea.

“It’s basically a dual purpose for me,” he said. “It’s musical engagement with an international group and then also helping out Nathan Myers for collaborations between YSU and Korean universities, so the whole week I’m going to accompany him.”

The next stop will be Taiwan. Myers said the market for that country is more for study abroad students and short-term programs.

“It’s very difficult to recruit for an institution like YSU for full-degree students [there], but we have multiple university business meetings lined up,” Myers said.

One such university is Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, an established partner university that hasn’t received a visit from YSU representatives in a long time.

“We sent them multiple students, we host their students regularly,” Myers said. “If we are going to put a YSU stamp on a partnership, we should know what our students are getting into. We are updating and seeing how the universities are, so we can properly and appropriately advise our students.”

Myers said Lunghwa is interested in having a joint 2+2 program with YSU. The plan is for the university to send their business majors, and YSU will link their studies with general education courses. He said they aren’t going to sign on an agreement at this point.

The last stop is China. Qi Jiang, professor in the department of sociology, anthropology and gerontology, will accompany them for a few university visits.

First, they will go to Shenyang, where they will sign a 3+1 agreement. From there, they will go to Changchun to visit two partner universities. At one of them, a 2+2 partner agreement for electrical engineering will be signed.

Next, they’ll visit a chemical engineering university in Beijing. Myers said the provost is particularly interested in recruiting chemical engineering students.

Since a pathway agreement was created with Chengdu Technological University last year, the group will be visiting them to recruit students. From there, Jiang will part with them.

Then, Myers and Abraham will go to the Sichuan University, which has connections with other top universities internationally. From there, Myers will part with Abraham and visit Nanjing and Shanghai universities on his own.

Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration, will also head to the China University of Petroleum in Beijing to sign a 1+1 MBA agreement.

Myers said in China, business, science and engineering degrees are popular, but it’s rare for them to study things like liberal arts.

Since Jiang and Lee will already be overseas, the cost for the recruitment trip is minimal, Myers said.

Next month, someone will be hired as the assistant director for international admissions and recruitment. This person will be taking over as the travelling recruitment agent for future trips.

Myers plans on sending this person to India and Nepal early next year. He said recruitment activities are becoming more of a focus than in previous years at YSU.