MTSU Pays to Recruit International Students

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A spokesman for Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro said the school pays for all efforts to recruit international students from the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

“Those (recruiting) trips are funded by the International Affairs allocated recruitment budget,” said MTSU spokesman David Schmidt, vice provost for the school’s International Affairs.

Schmidt made his comments in an emailed statement to The Tennessee Star Tuesday.

Schmidt also said MTSU recruiters generally take three to four recruiting trips a year.

When asked, Hart said MTSU officials are not pushing for more international students because the school is hard-up for money.

Many of the school’s previous exchange programs focused on European countries, Schmidt said.

MTSU currently has about 1,000 international students, who all pursue “a wide variety of degrees, ranging from the sciences to the arts,” Schmidt said.

“Being a part of a more diverse and global campus benefits Tennessee students by exposing them to other cultures that they may not otherwise interact, and it also prepares them to better compete in a global marketplace,” Schmidt said.

As The Star reported this week, more and more international students attend universities in Tennessee.

They take the knowledge and the skills they acquire here and apply them back on their home turf.

Nashville Public Radio reports Vanderbilt and Belmont have more than doubled their international freshman enrollment since 2009. Meanwhile, public universities like Austin Peay also have more international students.

This, the website, reported is deliberate.

Austin Peay has about 100 international students from Asia and Japan. Most of them major in STEM courses.

According to Live Science, STEM incorporates the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics all into one curriculum.

Schmidt, meanwhile, told Nashville Public Radio that recruiting international students is a priority.

Schools, Schmidt told the website, have a financial incentive to recruit international students.

“While Schmidt says there are some merit-based scholarships available for international undergraduates, most of them will pay out-of-state tuition,” according to Nashville Public Radio.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

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