Weak dollar brings in foreign students

LANSING — The weak American dollar has translated into higher international enrollment at Michigan colleges and universities, officials told The Macomb Daily. The nonprofit Institute for International Education said the number of international students nationwide is up by 3 percent from a year ago, The Daily said.

Northern Michigan University has seen a 15 percent increase this year, which an official attributed to a new agreement on transfer credits with a Chinese university and to a weak dollar relative to other currencies.

“So while it’s bad for us to have such a poor economy, it’s actually great for our education system because we get more international students,” Rehema Clarken, coordinator of international students and scholars at NMU, told The Daily.

Grand Valley State University had a record 322 international students this year, an official told The Daily.

“They don’t get discounted tuition, so these students are paying as much or more than the domestic students to attend the university,” Mark Schaub, executive director of the Padnos International Center, told The Daily. The students also add cultural diversity to campus life, he said, according to The Daily.

MSU has seen the number of Chinese undergraduate students rise from 43 in 2005 to more than 1,600 this year, an official told The Daily.

The Macomb Daily, “Michigan colleges see influx of foreign students,” Dec. 12, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Is College Accessibility Really a Problem?” Oct. 28, 2010