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Higher Education in Texas

Educational Opportunities for International Students at Texas Colleges & Universities

Educational opportunities at Texas colleges and universities continue to attract an impressive number of international students.

Nearly 36,000 foreign students approximately 7 percent of the Texas student body attended the states campuses in the fall of 1999. That makes Texas third among the 50 U.S. states in the number of international students enrolled at its higher education institutions.

These students represented at least 215 countries, from Abu Dhabi to Zimbabwe.

China, Korea, India, and Mexico are home to most of the international students at the states colleges and universities. Hundreds of students also come from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and a diverse list of other nations. Texas higher education welcomes all of them.

International students welcomed

As telecommunications and other technologies continue to make international political boundaries less meaningful, leading to rapid globalization, many Texas educators and policymakers recognize the need for understanding and learning more about all of the worlds people and their cultures. As a result, many of these leaders welcome prospects for even more international students so that Texas can learn from them and vice versa.

A new report, developed by an advisory committee to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and published in January 2001, emphasizes this point.

"Enrolling international students in our colleges and universities is an effective way to internationalize the overall climate of our institutions . . . ," according to Globalizing Texas Higher Education for the New Century.

To encourage international students to enroll in Texas higher education institutions, financial aid programs have been established—and others are being explored for possible development. For example, the Good Neighbor Scholarship program encourages academically talented students from most countries of the Western Hemisphere to pursue higher education in Texas.

In addition, the Reciprocal Educational Exchange Program establishes student exchange programs between colleges and universities in Texas and in other countries.

Information on these and other international student programs is generally available from the international student office on most of the states college and university campuses.

Texas Higher Education Institutions

Higher education opportunities are provided by a wide range of institutions—more than 140 public community and technical colleges, public universities, public health-related institutions, independent (private) colleges and universities, and private career colleges.

Certificate and two-year associates degree programs are offered primarily by 50 community college districts and the states public technical college system with its four main campuses. Three state colleges and some private career colleges also provide these programs.

Baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and professional (such as the medical and legal professions) degree programs are offered through Texas 35 four-year public universities and 37 independent four-year colleges and universities.

In addition, eight health-related institutions—most of which are known as health-science centers—provide medical, nursing, and other health-related degree programs for students.

The diversity offered by this wide range of colleges, universities, and other post secondary institutions is one of the strengths of the Texas higher education system. Students, as well as the state, benefit from an array of diverse, dynamic colleges and universities that, as a group, offer access to a comprehensive and broad range of academic and technical programs.

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