Colorado State University Improves to No. 2 Nationally in International Student Barometer Rankings

Colorado State University moved up a spot to No. 2 in the United States in international student satisfaction with their educational experience according to a major world-wide survey of international students. The purpose of the survey is to help universities see their strengths and weaknesses to enhance competitive advantage and quality.

The 2013 rankings, released by International Student Barometer, were based on surveys of international undergraduates, graduate students, and doctoral candidates at 180 universities in 15 countries around the world, including 21schools in the U.S. More than 160,000 students worldwide participated in the confidential online survey.

“We are delighted with these results,” said Jim Cooney, vice provost for International Affairs at CSU. “Note that CSU is number one in the U.S. for international student satisfaction with the academic experience and student support services. These are two of the four broad categories for the survey, and the results are even better than last year.”

This is the second time CSU has participated in the ISB survey, which tracks every aspect of the international educational experience, from academic experience and teacher quality to housing. CSU ranked third nationally in 2012, and second this year as compared to large schools like the University of Illinois, Michigan State University, Indiana University, Arizona State University, Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska, and Purdue University.

CSU ranked in the top 10 nationally in the majority of categories, and was No. 1 in providing quality teachers, topic selection, IT support, performance feedback, formal welcome, residence support services, and the quality of the financial aid office. CSU finished second in expert lecturers, research, international office, visa advice, student union, residence support, language support, campus safety, social activities, dining services, and other categories.

“To have specific data on so many benchmark categories is enormously helpful,” Provost Rick Miranda added. “The ISB information fits well with CSU’s emphasis on student success.”

The ISB survey is important, Cooney said, in helping CSU provide the best possible support for its growing international student population. International enrollment has increased 39 percent to 1,226 over the past four years, with the University looking to have 3,000 international students by 2020.

The survey also indicates CSU’s push to internationalize campus is paying off. Highlights in recent months include:

• Receiving the most prestigious national award for campus internationalization, NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Award.

• Opening the Confucius Institute – a first at a four-year institution in Colorado — with a special emphasis on water sustainability and the environment.

• Entering into an agreement with INTO International Partnerships to aggressively recruit potential students around the world.

• Forging partnerships with Hunan University, East China Normal University and other highly ranked Chinese institutions to exchange students and research collaboratively.

• Partnering with Coca-Cola to create the Chinese Water Scholars program to bring gifted students from China to take advantage of CSU’s world-renowned water programs.

• Ranking fifth in graduate student volunteers for the Peace Corps and 12th in undergraduates for 2013, and the Fort Collins-Loveland area ranking No. 1 in per-capita volunteers, with 14.7 Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 people.

• Increasing emphasis on study abroad opportunities for domestic students and boosting participation by 12 percent in 2012, with nearly 750 students studying abroad for credit and another 400 participating in non-credit programs.

Cooney also noted that 86 percent of survey participants would encourage other international students to apply for admission to CSU – 3 percent higher than the U.S. average and 5 percent higher than non-U.S. universities.