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INTO exceeds goals

INTO USF announced Tuesday its enrollment has exceeded its strategic plan for the 2011-12 school year by 16 percent.

INTO Director Glen Besterfield said the program hoped to see 510 students enrolled this semester. At the beginning of the semester, 580 INTO students were enrolled. Now, more than 590 students from more than 30 countries are at the University.

USF partnered with INTO U.S. last year to help international students who could not meet language or other entry requirements to become degree-seeking students at USF.

Besterfield said 33 percent of students are from Saudi Arabia and 29 percent are from China. Last year, 50 percent of students were from Saudi Arabia, he said.

Besterfield said he recently traveled to Russia and will soon travel to Kazakhstan to recruit students from underrepresented countries.

“We’re trying to focus our recruiting efforts to create a very diverse community here,” he said. “We want to create a nice balance. We don’t want all students from Saudi Arabia (or) China.

“We would like to see the numbers get up to a thousand over the next two or three years,” he said. “We want to see this program continue to grow.”

Besterfield said 81 percent of students who came through INTO’s Pathway programs, which provide courses for intense language and academic training, are now qualified to be degree-seekers, while 92 percent of those students are enrolled at USF.

By fall 2012, Besterfield said he hopes to see 200 additional students enter degree-seeking programs.

USF Provost Ralph Wilcox said in an interview with The Oracle in August that the INTO program helps with the University’s financial needs.

“Remember that these non-resident students at the undergraduate level pay nearly three times the tuition and fees that a resident (student) pays,” he said. “In many respects, the increased tuition revenues that non-resident students pay will help offset some of the budget reductions we faced as of late. (It) allows us to hire more professors (and) to enhance the quality of the academic delivery that we are able to provide.”

– Staff Report