By Ben Furgang | April 25, 2021
As UAlbany prepares for a return to primarily in-person instruction for the Fall 2021 semester, the administration says it is working toward increasing the enrollment of international students.
“We have aggressive goals for international enrollment for Fall 2021,” said Mike Nolan, UAlbany’s senior communications specialist. “In spite of the obstacles ahead, we want to meet or exceed our international enrollment from Fall 2020. ”
The goals are contingent, of course, on the status of the pandemic, he added.
In Fall 2019, before the pandemic, the university enrolled 1,493 international students. By Fall 2020, however, that number had fallen 16 percent to 1,249. Nolan said that about half the number of international students enrolled on campus for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 are studying remotely from outside the U.S..
Nolan said the university is making a large push in outreach efforts, with four online receptions planned for next week for international students who have already accepted. More will follow in the coming months.
But, even with the University returning to in-person learning, the increase in international enrollment may not happen immediately.
“Many experts are predicting that Spring 2022 may be when we see a larger jump nationally in the return of international students,” Nolan said, referring to the fact that many students may still be unable to travel this fall.
“Even with a change in national leadership, F-1 (student) visas are not being issued by most U.S. embassies and consulates at this time,” Nolan added, pointing out that the most significant spread of COVID-19 has been within the country. “That means the most important thing we can all do to keep each other safe is for everybody on campus to follow safety protocols while here,” he said.
International students will also be eligible to receive the vaccine upon arrival if they have not already gotten it. “As of now, a COVID-19 vaccination is not required for students, but strongly encouraged,” Nolan said.
International and out-of-state students represent a valuable demographic for the university’s tuition revenues because they pay about three times higher the tuition cost for students who live in New York State.