- Associated Press - Sunday, September 21, 2014

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Efforts to attract more international students to Missouri Southern State University in Joplin are succeeding, with the school recording almost a 20 percent increase in the students this year compared with last year.

Enrollment records show 193 international students enrolled this year, up from 161 last school year, The Joplin Globe reported (https://bit.ly/1u1k4ms ). The school’s total enrollment for this year was 5,613, is only three less than last year’s enrollment.

Kato Keina, a sophomore from Japan who arrived at the school a month ago, said she chose Missouri Southern over English-speaking universities in countries such as England and Australia because she wants to study American English.

“It’s bigger than my university in Japan, and everything is different,” she said, “so it’s interesting to learn many new things here.”

Missouri Southern has implemented several strategies in recent years to recruit international students, said Lora Dean, international admissions coordinator.

The addition of Craig Thompson, international admissions counselor, has helped her office increase its recruitment efforts. And the university has strengthened its agreements with foreign universities. One university in Seoul, South Korea, has sent 11 students who are studying in Joplin for one year, while another in the British Virgin Islands that has nearly doubled the enrollment of its exchange students in Joplin.

Dean said she hopes to expand Missouri Southern’s program agreements with colleges and universities in China and India in the next few years.

Enrollment in new freshmen and graduate students also increased at Missouri Southern. Enrollment in graduate programs is up 79 percent from last fall, from 29 students to 52 students. That increase coincides with a new master’s degree programs in accountancy and in curriculum and instruction.

New freshmen enrollment increased to 856 this year from 808 last year.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com

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