The report, a collaborative effort of the senior international officers on each campus, highlights NU's growth in international student enrollment, study abroad, research partnerships in areas key to Nebraska and the world, and other efforts that are solidifying the university's position in an increasingly interconnected world.
President Hank Bounds, Ph.D., praised the leadership and commitment of the campuses in expanding international opportunities for students, faculty and staff and building new, mutually beneficial partnerships around the globe.
"We've been collaborating with colleagues around the world for many decades," Dr. Bounds said. "Today the need to be globally engaged is more vital than ever. The challenges we're up against -- hunger and thirst, poverty, disease, defense and security -- are urgent and complex. University of Nebraska faculty can and must sit at the table with the world's leading experts to develop solutions."
NU Executive Vice President and Provost Susan Fritz, Ph.D., expressed particular pride in the university's record-high nearly 4,500 international students, a 47 percent increase in the past seven years alone. Not only do international students help grow economic activity in the state, they also enrich campus life and the educational experiences of other NU students, she said.
Study abroad also continues to grow, with nearly 1,500 NU students earning credit abroad in 2015-16.
"Today's graduates must be ready to live and work with people from a range of backgrounds and to engage thoughtfully in global issues," Dr. Fritz said. "NU students also benefit from the global perspectives of a diverse faculty and staff who bring our curricula to life in ways that wouldn't otherwise be possible."
NU's partnerships with institutions around the world are also leveraging global expertise to identify solutions to pressing challenges in water, agriculture, cancer and infectious disease, engineering, early childhood education, biomechanics and other areas. For example:
- UNMC's Emergency Medicine and Solid Organ Transplant Surgery departments are working with St. Paul's Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City to help Vietnam develop a national transplant infrastructure.
- The University of Nebraska at Omaha was recently awarded three grants from the United States Agency for International Development to build capacity at Afghanistan universities for communications study programs at Kabul University and Balkh University, and a hydro-engineering program at Kabul Polytechnic University.
- A new partnership between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and American University of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates allows for exchange opportunities for students and faculty in areas like business, engineering and arts and sciences.
- Through a partnership between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in China, Chinese students can earn a UNL undergraduate degree in food science and technology. They spend three years in China, with UNL faculty teaching and supervising the curriculum, and the fourth year in Lincoln.