Increase in International Enrollment at Colorado State University Fueled By Influx of Chinese Students

Colorado State University has leveraged its partnerships with several universities in China and an agreement with INTO University Partnerships to significantly increase the number of international students on campus for the 2012-13 academic year.

International student enrollment at CSU has increased from 1,040 in 2010 to 1,226 this semester. Chinese undergraduate student enrollment has increased from 59 to 190 during that same time frame.

The increase in Chinese students follows a trend that saw a 5 percent increase of international students nationwide for 2011-12. During that same time frame, Chinese enrollment at U.S. universities increased by 23 percent. International students comprise 4 percent of CSU’s student body.

The figures were released this week by the Institute of International Education in its latest “Open Doors” report. In addition to the boost in Chinese students at American universities, the report revealed that, for the first time in 11 years, there are more international students in undergraduate programs than in graduate programs.

"Colorado State University is exactly in the middle of all U.S. doctoral level institutions for international student enrollments,” said Jim Cooney, vice provost for International Affairs. “We have the capacity for significant growth in international students, and we are making certain to shape that growth in ways that maximize benefit to the university."

Cooney cited CSU’s recent partnerships with Hunan University, East China Normal University and other highly ranked institutions in China as significant contributors to the increase in Chinese students on campus. CSU hopes to boost its international student enrollment to more than 3,000 by 2020.

The increase in international students, who pay full out-of-state tuition, will help hold down tuition costs for all students, Cooney noted. They also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy. The IIE report said CSU’s international students contributed $34.7 million to the economy. Nationally, the 765,000 international students contributed $21.8 billion to the U.S. economy.

The number of American students studying abroad is also up. Colorado saw 4,745 students studying abroad in 2011-12 – approximately 1.28 percent of the students in the state. CSU represents a large portion of those numbers with nearly 750 Study Abroad students, which was a 12 percent growth from 2010-11. This is especially impressive considering national growth in study abroad was only about 1 percent.

CSU also tracks all non-credit bearing international experiences (including service learning, practicum, internships and conferences). These experiences included another 400 students, bringing the total number of CSU students abroad in 2011-12 to 1,150.

IIE released its annual Open Doors report to coincide with International Education Week. CSU marked the beginning of International Education Week on Saturday night with the 59th Annual World Unity Festival. Nearly 3,000 students and community members attended the event which included food and culture booths, a youth world tour, and stage show.

For full results from IIE’s Open Doors report, visit