Program aims to attract international students to U

By By Katie Valentine

By Katie Valentine

The U is introducing a new program to benefit and attract international students.

The Global Pathways Program will be run by the U and the global education company Kaplan, and will combine English lessons and college preparation during the first year of a bachelor’s program.

“We look forward to this partnership leading to increased enrollment of international students at the University of Utah,” said U President Michael Young in a statement. The U is the second university in the country to have this program. The program’s goal is to help international students save time and money by going through the Kaplan program.

“A U.S. education is perceived as very valuable to foreign students,” said Pamela Bates, a representative from Kaplan for the University of Utah Global Pathways Program.

In order to come to the U, international students must have a score of 500 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language exam. The program allows students to come to the U with a TOEFL score of 450 or better, given they take the Kaplan and U English language classes.

The program will start in January 2010. Students enrolled in the program will start with college preparation and English classes. They can start choosing their majors as well.

The U was selected for the program because of its reputation and high rankings of undergraduate programs, especially the linguistics program, Bates said.

Ed Rubin, department chairman of linguistics at the U, will be an academic liaison between Kaplan and the U, said Taunya Dressler, a U spokeswoman.

The U was also picked because Salt Lake City is seen as a good destination for foreign students, Bates said.

The program doesn’t cost the U anything. For the first year students are at the U, they pay Kaplan for their college expenses, such as tuition and living expenses.

“For the U, it is a wonderful opportunity to broaden our diversity,” Dressler said.

Kaplan handles all the admissions and marketing for the program. It’s not known how many students will sign up for the program.

Northeastern University was the first school to have the Global Pathways Program. Students enrolled in the program must pick one of three tracks to major in. Those tracks are business and behavioral science; engineering, math and computer science; or physical and life science.

With the program at the U, students can pick any major. The U’s program also differs because it provides credit to students as they are taking classes their first year. Once students complete their first year, they can continue to go to the U for the rest of their undergraduate career.

The program has been under development during the past year before making the announcement last week. Kaplan has other programs in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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