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CLAS Leads Global Gators in Rankings

This article was originally printed in the February 2006 issue of CLASnotes.

The University of Florida ranks 11th nationally in the number of students studying abroad, according to the Open Doors report by the Institute of International Education. This annual report provides comprehensive data on the number of international students and scholars in the United States and on US students who study abroad.

“The statistics demonstrate we are making progress in our goal to internationalize our campus and curriculum,” says Dennis Jett, dean of UF’s International Center. “President Bernie Machen and Provost Janie Fouke recognize the importance of internationalization with regard to improving our standing as a major research university and in preparing our students to compete in an ever more globalized world, and this shows our efforts are working.”

To earn the rank of 11th, UF had 1,537 students studying abroad in the 2003–04 school year, and 499 (32 percent) were in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. UF ranked 12th the previous year and was not even in the top 20 in the year before that.

“Experiencing different cultures is an important stimulus to personal growth and learning, and so CLAS has made study abroad offerings a priority,” says Angel Kwolek-Folland, CLAS associate dean for centers, institutes and international affairs. “As the largest college at UF, and the most diverse in terms of curriculum, CLAS plays a very important role in providing a rich international experience for students and faculty. We want to offer students courses that are fun and just as challenging as any they would take on campus.”

Kwolek-Folland says CLAS has increased the number of students and faculty involved in study abroad by adding courses, creating new kinds of abroad experience such as mini-courses, and raising funds for scholarships. “We have a research center in Paris, and are supporting efforts to create similar centers in Beijing and Munich. CLAS faculty develop about 10 new courses each year for our study abroad roster.”

The Open Doors report also ranked UF seventh in leading institutions to host international researchers and faculty members, and 18th in the number of international students, rising from ranks of eighth and 24th, respectively, last year. In 2004–05, UF hosted 1,886 international scholars and enrolled 3,492 international students.



Allyson A. Beutke

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