Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Op-Ed: New York's Independent Colleges are Making a World of Difference

Laura L. Anglin, president, CICU

More and more of New York's independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities—small and large—are expanding and establishing their presence overseas to provide the same top-quality education students and employers have come to expect at home.

These campuses also are opening their doors to greater numbers of international students. To the benefit of students and regional economies alike, opportunities to "export" the New York brand of higher education are growing.

For example, in a boon to the western New York economy, more than 100 higher education leaders from countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam met earlier this month in Niagara Falls to establish global partnerships during the annual conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning. It had been more than 25 years since ASAIHL last gathered in the U.S., and the first time the group ever met in New York state.

These scholars and university officials chose to come to New York at the invitation of Keuka College, which began offering its bachelor's of science in management sciences in China in 2002. With its experiential learning model, the college now has 3,500 Chinese students pursuing a Keuka degree at four partner Chinese universities—the largest enrollment of any U.S. college offering degree programs in China. Some 300 students at Vietnam National University are now pursuing Keuka degrees, too.

When it comes to establishing a global presence, New York's Independent Sector campuses typically partner with an institution in a foreign country (keeping the New York name and brand), establish a branch campus, or provide distance education. These initiatives strengthen the threads connecting countries and help to prepare world citizens who can collaborate across cultures and make a difference anywhere in the world. Additionally, New York state is one of the most sought-after destinations for higher education, with nearly 80,000 students annually coming here to further their education. To leverage this potential, a consortium of more than 65 independent and public colleges and universities called "Study New York" is actively promoting New York state as an ideal destination for students from around the world. World-renowned colleges and universities, innovative programs, and cutting-edge research make New York state one of the most pursued partners for higher education collaboration, with results that benefit us all.