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USF partners with international recruiting organization INTO

USF will be the only school in Florida to hold a’partnership with INTO University Partnerships – a U.K.-based company that assists schools in recruiting international students – for the remainder of its 30-year contract, which will be’officially announced today, University Provost Ralph Wilcox said Monday night.

The University will announce this agreement at a kickoff event at 8:30 a.m. in the Marshall Student Center’s Oval Theater, where 60 INTO’international-student recruiters
will visit campus for the’first time.

USF anticipates to recruit approximately 300 international students with the help of INTO for undergraduate and graduate programs starting August 2010, Wilcox said.

International student’enrollment decreased 10’percent since fall 2007,’according to USF’s Office of Decision Support. The University wants to steer any other decline with this’partnership, Wilcox said.

‘We believe that USF will rapidly become a destination university for international students in ways that we could never have dreamt of accomplishing on our own because we don’t have the expertise INTO brings to promoting and marketing and operating these centers, and nor do we have the full capital,’ he said.

A new INTO USF international study center will be built on campus and will include residence halls and classrooms for international students and other students who have an interest in international’studies in areas like business, public health, global’sustainability, public administration and political science, Wilcox said.

‘It’s a competitive global marketplace out there today, and we want to make sure that our residents have been exposed to the perspective and experiences that international
students can bring to the’classroom,’ he said.

The start-up cost for the’program is $4 million – made up of $2 million privately donated funds to the USF Foundation and the rest from INTO dollars – which is expected to fund the first two or three years, Wilcox said.

Since USF does not receive any public funds to support international student programs, he said the University must charge a higher tuition fee that covers more than the cost of an international’student’s full education.

The University expects tuition costs for the program – $17,960 paid by each’international student per year – to help offset the initial costs, Wilcox said.

The tuition cost per student does not include housing, food, health insurance and other incidental fees, Wilcox said. USF and INTO will split all revenue 50/50.

‘After two or three years, we expect to see the’partnership breaking even, and then making the profit, of course, is reinvesting it in the University to provide additional
support,’ he said. ‘That’s when we expect to be reinvesting in building new residence halls, in building new’classrooms, in building’administrative space.’

USF ranks 81st in the nation in international student population, according to a release. In 2008-09, international students made up 4 percent, or about 1,800 students, of the total student population’at USF.

According to a report, international students made up 9 percent of University of Florida’s total student population, 8 percent at Florida International University,’5 percent at University of Central Florida and 4 percent at Florida State University.

The University has been working toward this’partnership since May of 2009. INTO is partnered with Oregon State University, the only other school in the U.S. to have a partnership with the company.

Additional reporting by Diedra Rodriguez