Ohio Seeks to Draw More International Students to Its Higher Education Institutions


As part of Ohio’s effort to position the state as a premier destination for international students, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey today kicked off a new Global Reach to Engage Academic Talent (G.R.E.A.T.) initiative.

The effort grew from Governor John R. Kasich’s Mid-Biennium Budget Review in 2014, which focused on new reforms to increase recruitment and enrollment of international students and to encourage them to remain in the state after graduation. Currently, the 29,488 international student-visa holders enrolled in Ohio’s colleges and universities support 11,337 Ohio jobs, and contribute $827 million to the state’s economy, making postsecondary education of international students Ohio’s 15th largest export.

“Many institutions of higher education within Ohio have exemplary international programs, which invite students from abroad to study here while sending Ohio students to expand their education across the world,” Chancellor Carey said. “Our goal is to expand Ohio’s international visibility in higher education, and leverage economic and workforce development potential.”

A goal of the new initiative is to increase the share of international college students in Ohio from 4.1 percent to 6 percent, which would generate an estimated $1.2 billion and support 17,000 jobs. As of July, Ohio had more than 3,800 international establishments employing 215,650 Ohioans in a global capacity.

A website devoted to the G.R.E.A.T. initiative – www.ohio-great.us – was launched during the kickoff event, which also featured the national release of a whitepaper about Ohio’s program from the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Today’s statewide Ohio G.R.E.A.T. kickoff will be followed by more in-depth regional meetings around the state that will be attended by members of the higher education and business communities. A copy of the Department of Higher Education’s Globalization Report, which provides additional background on the initiative and its goals, can be found online at www.ohiohighered.org.

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