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Last updated 3:59AM ET
March 9, 2021
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Business Review Western MI
Business Review Western MI
(wgvu) - Colleges and universities are leveraging technology and taking other
measures to enroll foreign students, aiming to boost tuition revenue and
add diversity.

Western Michigan University this year hired a specialist in visa and
immigration matters, and many institutions find a place for foreign
students in online courses, allowing them to earn credits and even
graduate without setting foot in the United States.

What online (courses) really allow you to do is reach a global market
with innovative programs, said Reid Gough, who teaches information
technology courses and heads the Internet course program for Grand
Rapids-based Davenport University.

Students often have difficulties securing visas to attend school in the
United States, he said.

What we're able to do is provide an American education to students
overseas without them having to come here, Gough said.

Only about 300 of Davenport's nearly 10,000 online students are in other
countries, but the proportion promises to grow as time goes on, he said.

Grand Valley State University also is growing its online presence, but
not necessarily to attract foreign students, officials said.

I am aware there are a number of people who have work or travel issues
who are able to take online courses as a means to limit the number of
times they have to come to campus, said Brian Cole, who directs
technical support for GVSU's online courses.

Online courses are particularly popular for students who attend classes
at the university's satellite campuses in Holland, Muskegon and Traverse
City, he said.

GVSU enrolls about 230 foreign students currently, mostly from China,
India and Canada, international student program director Kate Stoetzner
said. The visa process, which became a barrier to international
enrollments after Sept. 11, has relaxed in the United States and abroad,
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