Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order to attract more international students to Colorado colleges and universities by creating StudyColorado, which is a partnership between the state, institutions of higher education and the business community.
"International students further economic and cultural ties between Colorado and other countries," Hickenlooper said. "They diversify our campuses and help our students learn to compete in a global environment. StudyColorado will promote Colorado and its diverse and high-quality study opportunities to students around the world."
StudyColorado is housed at the Department of Higher Education and includes public and private colleges and universities from throughout the state as members. In academic year 2010-2011, more than 7,000 international students from more than 100 countries were studying in Colorado. In supporting the international recruitment goals of the member institutions, StudyColorado will seek to increase the number of students and to diversify the countries of origin of students, most of whom currently come from China, Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea and Taiwan.
International students in Colorado now contribute over $200 million annually to Colorado's economy, according to an analysis done annually by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
"It is in Colorado's economic, cultural and social interest to welcome the best and brightest students from all over the world," said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. "StudyColorado will help enrich the learning experiences on college campuses and better prepare Colorado's students for the challenges of a global marketplace."
StudyColorado is working closely with the state's Office of Economic Development and International Trade and with the business community, which played an active role in advising on the strategy and supporting the launch of the program.
"Our colleges and universities play a role in making Colorado globally competitive and help create new opportunities for international trade and tourism," said Ken Lund, Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. "The professional relationships that lead to international opportunities often stem from an individual having spent time here as a student, or having a family member who lived here. Students are among our best ambassadors."