The University of Arizona

Global Education, International Student Enrollment Soars at UA

After years of growth, enrollment of international students at American universities have seen a sharp decline. In a recent report by Inside Higher Ed, nearly half of the universities surveyed reported a drop in new international student enrollment.

But at the University of Arizona, enrollment numbers of international students have increased. Today, the UA hosts more than 1,600 international faculty members and scholars, in addition to serving nearly 4,000 international students from 110 countries. Moreover, the UA was recently recognized as a top global university worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings, placing in the top 0.3 percent among more than 27,000 higher education institutions.

 A big part of this success can be attributed to the UA’s promotion of global mobility, in which international students, faculty and scholars have opportunities to receive a high-quality UA education on-campus, while domestic students have the opportunities to study abroad.

The UA’s visionary Global-Microcampus Network embodies this philosophy. Through its micro-campus model, the UA provides students from all around the world with access to a world-class education and the ability to earn dual degrees which are conferred by Arizona and a partner university.

Currently, 500 internationally-based students are enrolled across two UA micro-campus locations at Ocean University, China and American University of Phnom Penh. In the next year, the UA anticipates 8 to 10 new partner campuses going online.

Through these partnerships, the micro-campus network opens educational and engagement possibilities for domestic and international UA students to travel and study between Tucson and micro-campus locations while remaining in their UA degree programs.

Today, many universities attribute their decline in international student enrollment to the increased cost of tuition and the tension in social and political environment in the U.S. Critically, UA micro-campuses provide solutions to both of them problems.  

Micro-campuses are financially self-sustaining, promoting long-term internationalization and serving as a platform and physical location for faculty training, service-learning, internships, and other forms of engaged learning. Tuition cost for students are also more affordable because they are based on their country’s domestic education rates.

 In addition, partnerships communicate that world-class U.S. universities like the UA value and want to provide students from all around the world with the best educational experience. 


To read about the UA’s increase in global enrollment, check out coverage from UANews and KTAR. And to learn more about UA micro-campuses, visit their official website