A report released today by the Institute of International Education found that New York University had more international students than any other U.S. college or university, with nearly 5,000 foreign students in its programs.

The recruitment of foreign students is part of NYU’s vision for a global education for its students. The strategy also includes: the establishment of NYU study centers throughout the world (currently including Prague, Florence, Paris and Madrid); student study abroad; short-term, year-long and multi-year visiting professorships for scholars from abroad; participation in the League of World Universities; the use of computer and telecommunications technology for joint classes with foreign universities; and the establishment of international houses on NYU’s campus, among other undertakings.

The increase in international students is part of NYU’s transformation into a prestigious national and international research institution. Less than 15 years ago, one-half of NYU’s freshmen came from New York City; today, it is less than one-fifth.

Dr. L. Jay Oliva, president of NYU, said, “For higher education to work in the coming century, it will have to be global. And that doesn’t just mean visiting a few galleries or a few restaurants in foreign lands; it means having real interactions with real people from other cultures.

“Many of our students will do this through study abroad. But this is New York, the capital of the world; an international experience should be as available in this city as it is anywhere in the world. These students enrich the life of this community. I teach Russian history, and many students in my class speak Russian as a first language. That diversity makes the class a fuller experience for everyone.

“Globalization in higher ed and all its benefits aren’t going to be achieved through just one path. It will involve sending U.S. students abroad, innovations in the curriculum, linkages with foreign universities, and the use of new telecommunications technologies. And one of the most important elements will be the recruitment of foreign students to our shores.

“I consider our securing this number one ranking a significant achievement. And it is all the more remarkable for our lack of an engineering school or agricultural program, two of the principal programs for attracting international students. I think this speaks volumes about how NYU is perceived around the world.”

New York University, which is located in New York’s historic Greenwich Village, was established in 1831. It is one of the largest private universities in the United States, with some 17,000 undergraduates and some 18,500 graduate and professional students. Through its 13 schools and colleges, it conducts research and provides education in the arts and science, law, medicine, dentistry, education, nursing, business, public administration and service, social work, continuing studies, and the dramatic, cinematic and performing arts.

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