The publication Inside Higher Ed recently reported on the large increase in the number of Brazilian undergraduates studying in the United States, and the magazine put a spotlight on the University of Nebraska.
The number of Brazilian undergraduates studying in the United States has more than doubled in a year’s time to over 4,000, the magazine reported, and only two U.S. universities host more Brazilian students than does NU.
NU campuses host 91 Brazilian undergraduate students, compared with the University of California at Davis, which is No. 1 with 118, and the Illinois Institute of Technology at 99.
NU has set global engagement — including study abroad in many cases — as a central goal for its undergraduate students.
That is a sensible objective given the globalized economy and the growing need for Americans to understand developments worldwide.
The university system aims to double its total international student enrollment by 2020 to about 6,000. Last fall, NU campuses counted 3,475 international students from 137 countries, a 10 percent increase from the year before.
Other top countries of origin for international students at NU, according to the university’s central administration office, are China (1,268); India (325); South Korea (276); Saudi Arabia (198); Japan (171); Malaysia (147); Nepal (79); Iran (59); and Vietnam (52).
A plus for NU’s efforts on this score has been the work of Thomas Farrell, NU’s top official overseeing global engagement. Farrell has wide experience with the Institute of International Education, which specializes in facilitating study abroad, and with the U.S. State Department.
In 2011, Brazil announced that it intends to provide scholarships so that 100,000 Brazilian college students can study engineering or computer science abroad. Over the next five years, more than 2,500 undergraduates are expected to begin study at American universities.
NU President J.B. Milliken has been visiting Brazil since 2007 to develop the university’s links with that country. In all, NU is focusing in particular on Brazil and three other countries: China, India and Turkey.
This forward-looking global outreach can serve the university and Nebraska well, and it’s good to see that NU has received this national recognition.