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Kent State Continues International Initiative by Opening an Office in India

Posted Feb. 7, 2011

Kent State University, Ohio's second largest public university, will extend its global reach by establishing a location in India, the second most populous country in the world. The Indian office joins the university's growing international presence with its established academic centers in Florence, Italy, and Geneva, Switzerland, an office in Beijing, China, and multiple relationships in Saudi Arabia, Russia, Japan, Turkey and other countries. The new Kent State office in Delhi, India, will be up and running this spring semester.

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A street scene in India, where Kent State now has an office.
"The Kent State office in India is part of the globalization of Kent State," Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton, says. "India is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing economies with 1.2 billion people. It also has a huge college-bound population, and the United States has such a strong reputation for its higher education system. There is a tremendous opportunity for Kent State in India."

Robert G. Frank, Kent State's provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, says the Indian office offers many benefits. "Opening an office in India will help recruit students to Kent State and help with academic exchange. It helps us expand our academic and intellectual pursuits with Indian universities. In addition, by bringing more students to Kent State, it helps solidifies our financial base."

Kent State officials have met with more than 10 universities in India, signing memorandums of understanding with several of them. "Together, we want to expand our relationships and collaborations," Frank says.

Mary Anne Saunders, executive director of Kent State's Office of International Affairs, says what also makes India so attractive is that there is no language barrier. "They speak English," she says. "In fact, there are more English speakers in India than there are people in the United States. By speaking the same language, it helps makes the transition a little bit easier compared to other international students who come to Kent State."

Frank says the university expects to see growth in the number of Indian students next year, but the larger increase will be seen the following year in the 2012-2013 academic year. "We hope to see the same kind of results in India as what we've experienced in China," he says.

Kent State opened an office in Beijing, China, in 2008. Since then, the number of Kent State students from China has increased significantly. In spring 2008, the university had only 91 Chinese students, representing 12 percent of all Kent State international students. Today, Kent State has 576 students from China, comprising 40 percent of the entire Kent State international student population.

"We know that Kent State's reputation has reached international levels as evidenced by our recent ranking as one of the top 200 universities in the world by Times Higher Education of London," Lefton says. "One of my strategic priorities for the university is to engage the world beyond our campuses, and this new Kent State office in India is another example of us doing just that."

For more information on Kent State's global initiatives, exchange programs and support services for international students and scholars, visit the university's Office of International Affairs online at www.kent.edu/oia.