Colorado State University Outpacing National Trend in Increased International Enrollment; Officials to Be Honored Today with Sen. Paul Simon Award

While international student enrollment is on the rise at colleges and universities across the country, an emphasis on international recruitment is helping Colorado State University outpace national trends.

CSU’s international student enrollment jumped 23 percent for the 2013-14 academic year and has increased by more than 70 percent in five years. Nationally, international student enrollment increased this year by 9.8 percent, according to figures released Monday by the Institute of International Education in its annual Open Doors Report. (

CSU added 280 international students for 2013-14 for a total of 1,506 on campus. The influx of international students – the result of increased recruiting abroad – helped CSU establish a new record enrollment of 31,514. CSU hopes to build its international enrollment to 3,000 by 2020.

“Being a global institution is part of how we want to think and talk about ourselves and position ourselves,” said Tom Milligan, CSU’s vice president of external relations. “We’re different from other medium- to large-size public institutions. The things that we’re good at – like water, biomedicine and veterinary medicine – we’re as good as anybody in the world.”

CSU’s increasing international enrollment is just one part of a plan to internationalize the Fort Collins campus. CSU has established working relationships with several Chinese universities, has enhanced facilities for international education, and earlier this year opened the first Confucius Institute on a university campus in Colorado.

That effort, part of a 2007 plan to globalize campus put together by Vice Provost for International Affairs Jim Cooney, helped CSU earn the prestigious 2013 Sen. Paul Simon Award from NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Cooney was accompanied by CSU President Tony Frank, Provost Rick Miranda, Milligan and others to receive the award Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

The annual awards ceremony on Capitol Hill is one of the featured events during International Education Week.

“Many of us from CSU have been in Washington this week for International Education Week activities,” Cooney said. “It is striking how much recognition CSU is getting because of this award, and that is no surprise since the last two major university recipients were the University of Michigan and New York University. That puts us in good company, and our internationalization efforts at Colorado State are truly world-class.”