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Southwestern Participating in New Consortium to Recruit Students from China

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    Tom Oliver and Adam Navarro from the Admissions Office are going to China over spring break to participate in a new recruiting initiative (photo by Carlos Barron).

Two admission officers will spend Spring Break on initial recruiting trip

Southwestern may have some students from China enrolling in fall 2011 if a new partnership is successful.

Southwestern is one of 10 schools selected to participate in a pilot project designed to encourage more Chinese students who are academically and financially qualified to study at American universities as undergraduates. The consortium includes colleges and universities that offer a variety of undergraduate experiences, including women’s colleges, state universities and liberal arts colleges.

Two members of Southwestern’s Admissions Office are visiting China March 13-21 on an initial recruiting trip sponsored by the consortium.

The consortium is focusing its efforts on high schools in Guangdong Province, a province in southeast China that has a booming economy and high-quality high schools. Officials in the province are encouraging high schools to send more students overseas for undergraduate study, and are taking steps such as relaxing visa standards to help make this possible.

Representatives from the consortium visited nine high schools in the province in December 2009 and said they were “incredibly well received” at the schools they visited.

Many high school students in this province have expressed a desire to study in the United States, but have little or no knowledge of U.S. higher education or individual colleges and universities.

The consortium hopes to have information in 100 high schools in Guangdong Province by summer 2010 and in 200 high schools by December 2010. The consortium is developing printed materials that can be distributed at the high schools, as well as a web site that will have information on the pilot schools, links to their web sites, and information on applications and visas.

The consortium also is developing a common application that will be accepted by all participating colleges.

Tom Oliver, vice president for enrollment management services, said participating in the consortium makes sense for a variety of reasons.

“It would take us years of work on our own to get the visibility we will get with this,” he said. “Participating in this consortium is also a better use of institutional resources because we will be able to leverage the benefits of the group.”

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