CSUN is looking to increase the number of international students in attendance within the next five years from the current 1,200 students to about 1,600 students, making up about 5 to 6 percent of the total student population.
International students currently total about 3 to 4 percent of the university’s student body.
“International students bring a cultural diversity to the campus, and allow resident students to exchange viewpoints and become more globally aware of the world economy,” said Mary Baxton, associate director of Admissions and Records. “And there is no question that international students bring dollar revenue to the campus that can be used to supplement the budget for academic programs.”
Harold Hellenbrand, CSUN provost, and Mack Johnson, associate vice president of Graduate Studies, Research and International Programs, developed the plan based on recommendations by a committee composed of representatives from Admissions and Records, Student Development and International Programs, the College of Extended Learning, Academic Affairs, Outreach Services, and Administration and Finance.
The committee hopes to increase the international student population within five to eight years.
“We’d like to do it in that timeframe,” Johnson said. “I’m optimistic we can do it over time. It’s not going to happen overnight.”
The plan to recruit more students includes targeting local community colleges with high numbers of international students, Baxton said.
“Recent agreements have been signed with schools in Japan, Korea and China, and we are looking at programs in Malaysia and Thailand,” Baxton said.
CSUN currently has exchange programs established with over 45 schools.
Other plans include expanding on-campus programming and services for international students, such as providing faster processing of admissions applications, and improving advisement services to assist with the transition process.
This includes helping international students find adequate housing near campus.
“We’re thinking of how we can make CSUN friendly to students who want to come here from different countries,” Johnson said.
Mayumi Kowta, director of the Intensive English Program within the College of Extended Learning, recently went to Japan to recruit potential international students to CSUN.
“We want to be recognized as a school with diversity,” Kowta said.