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Higher Education in Ohio

Each year, about 22,000 international students come to Ohio's 204 colleges and universities to take advantage of the easy access to a high-quality, affordable higher education. Ohio’s colleges and universities offer diverse campus experiences in urban areas, rural areas, and quaint towns built around the campuses. More than 750,000 students were enrolled at these Ohio institutions last year, seeking advanced skills, certification, associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees.

Ohio’s colleges and universities also are working to move students from the classroom to the workforce. Colleges and universities in Ohio take pride in aligning education and training with the needs of business and industry.

Institutions of higher learning are keenly aware of business needs and work to provide the students with the education and skills they will need to start careers in well-paying jobs.  Many of Ohio’s colleges and universities are collaborating with businesses and communities to develop innovative solutions, create mutually beneficial partnerships, cultivate experiential learning opportunities, and inspire economic growth.

These partnerships – many in key industrial areas with future job growth like advanced energy; biomedicine and health care; agriculture, food production and bioproducts; advanced transportation and aerospace; enabling technologies: advanced materials and sensors; and cultural and societal transformation – designed to generate public and private investment and attract top intellectual talent, serve as a strong draw for many international students.

The University System of Ohio includes 14 publicly supported four-year universities, 24 public two-year regional branch campuses affiliated with a four-year main campus, two freestanding public medical colleges, 15 public two-year community colleges, and eight public two-year technical colleges. The public system is complemented by 35 excellent independent colleges that offer graduate training and 58 independent colleges that offer undergraduate courses.

The state's rich tradition of advocating for education dates back to the formation of Ohio in 1803, from a portion of the Northwest Territory. In fact, the oldest institution of higher education in the Midwest - Ohio University in Athens, Ohio - was chartered on Feb. 18, 1804, less than a year after Ohio joined the Union as the 17th state.

It was recognized in 1804 and remains true today that education is the key to the economic growth of Ohio. Every one percent increase in the number of Ohioans with bachelor’s degrees means economic activity equal to $2.5 billion per year.

International students can experience the exciting partnerships that are being developed in Ohio by attending one of Ohio’s colleges or universities. International students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity for a high-quality, affordable education at one of Ohio’s diverse campuses.

The University System of Ohio is the state agency that coordinates higher education in Ohio. The agency is directed by its Chancellor, who is a member of the Governor of Ohio's cabinet. The Chancellor, with the advice of the nine-member Board of Regents, provides policy guidance to the Governor and the Ohio General Assembly, advocates for the University System of Ohio and carries out state higher education policy.
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