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A surge in Chinese students at U.S. campuses: Sounds familiar.

Lots of talk about Chinese students flocking to U.S. campuses these days. A rash of stories on the topic have come on the heels of an annual report by the Institute of International Education showing how many international students are studying at American institutions. A few samplers:

China props up foreign students’ numbers in U.S., says the Chronicle of Higher Education. “The rapid increase in the number of Chinese students, however, obscures the slowing overall growth in the number of foreign students at American colleges. International enrollments rose only 3 percent, to 690,923, in 2009-10, while first-time-student figures expanded even more anemically, by just 1 percent.”

The China education boom hits U.S. campuses, says the New York Times. “While China’s students have long filled American graduate schools, its undergraduates now represent the fastest-growing group of international students. In 2008-09, more than 26,000 were studying in the United States, up from 8,000 eight years earlier.”

Record number of Chinese students flock to U.S. colleges, says the Christian Science Monitor. “California, New York and Texas still host the largest number of foreign students, but several Midwestern states — Illinois, Ohio and Indiana — all made a big effort to reach out to foreign students and saw sizeable increases.”

Of course, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is also in that mix of Midwestern schools. And, actually, we were well ahead of the curve on this trend story, as well — if you may recall, UNL was the subject of a front-page cover story by USA TODAY last December that highlighted this latest movement.

For two days last October, we hosted reporter Mary Beth Marklein, who in turn wrote at length about UNL’s efforts over the past several years to attract and retain Chinese students.┬áSpecifically, Marklein examined UNL’s partnerships and shared-degree programs with Chinese universities. She also looked at UNL’s marketing efforts to Chinese students and their parents, which cited campus safety ratings and a U.S. News & World Report article showing UNL is the most popular public university in the United States based on its yield rate. She also delved into UNL’s Nebraska Writing Center efforts to help ease Chinese students’ transitions to campus, particularly in the amount of reading and writing that needed to be done. And she noted Chancellor Perlman’s thoughts on the impact a growing Chinese population can have on the university’s bottom line. To top it off, Marklein wrote a sidebar about Confucius Institutes and quoted Dr. David Lou extensively.

It’s another example of UNL not only being relevant on the national scene, but also out in front of a national trend in higher education.

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