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Foreign Student Enrollment Record at University of Montana
Officials report 536 foreign students from 72 countries
MISSOULA — A record number of foreign students have enrolled at the University of Montana, school officials say.

Officials on Friday reported that 536 foreign students from 72 countries are taking classes for the 2012-2013 academic year.

The increase in foreign students is likely due to collaboration between the Graduate School, Enrollment Service and the International Program, said Peter Baker, development officer for the UM International Program.

"The flexibility in individual academic departments to accept these students and do outreach and recruitment efforts is important to recognize," Baker told the Missoulian. "Faculty who do work overseas can develop relationships that help build bridges to bring more international students to study at UM."

Last year, 406 foreign students attended the university, making this year's number of foreign students a 32 percent increase, officials said. The current number surpasses the record of 518 foreign students in 2006.

Baker said the school picked up new students this year from Austria, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, New Zealand, Portugal and Thailand.

"Foreign governments and cultural attaches are telling their students about UM and our program and they're starting to refer students to us for consideration," Baker said. "It's a testimony to the collaborative approach being used here at UM for international recruitment."

Foreign students are enrolling in graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as professional program and the English Language Institute.

"What's happening, nationally, the number of international students studying at all levels has continued to increase over the past 10 years," Baker said. "That looks like it's going to continue."

The most popular program for foreign students is business. At the graduate level, biomedical sciences are popular along with the Forestry and Natural Resources Conservation program.

The school hopes to pull in 600 international students by 2020.

"We are focused on building a university for the global century," UM President Royce Engstrom said. "The rise in the number of international students is evidence that UM is increasingly engaged worldwide."
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