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A glance at the United Nations’ website reveals we’re facing the most pressing scientific and societal challenges, which present problems on a scale of complexity that we have never seen1. The solutions will involve technological approaches and political resolutions that have not yet been imagined or are only going to be achieved by meaningful interactions that transcend national boundaries. These interactions will require close collaboration between networks of specialists who have learned how to interact with one another in ways that merge different fields of study2. In recent years, many countries and world regions throughout the world have undergone a dramatic growth in infrastructure for STEM education and research. International and cross-cultural networks must learn to interact more effectively with each other in order to leverage their collective strengths for developing solutions to the world’s complex problems.
In this light, it is clear that the importance of international students to ASU extends far beyond the tuition that they bring into the university. First, graduate students are critical to the research enterprise at ASU, which reaches expenditures in excess of $518 million per year3. Almost one-third of ASU graduate students arrive from countries all over the world, drawn here by the global reputation of ASU as a top research center. Without them it would be difficult to sustain the research enterprise at its current level.
International students and faculty researchers provide opportunities for U.S. students and researchers to learn, live, and interact with others from many different cultures. Institutional connections with universities and research programs all over the world provide opportunities for ASU researchers to connect to a wide range of expertise in all areas of study. They also provide ASU students with opportunities to study abroad. Cross-cultural exposure and experiences help ASU students to start developing their own networks to leverage in the future, when they need connections across national boundaries and cultures. Such personal experiences prepare ASU students to be globally engaged in ways that no other types of experiences can.
International students who arrive at ASU through academic program partnerships with foreign institutions, such as International Accelerated Degree Programs (IADP), are preparing to become the STEM researchers, politicians and business leaders of the future. They form the foundations of the cross-cultural networks needed to co-develop solutions to the critical social, technical, cultural and environmental global challenges.
IADP partnerships with leading international universities allow international students to earn an ASU master’s degree in less time, and become highly valued candidates across global industries.
Engagement with growing and developing research networks around the world, through international students, is a critical component to developing global engagement at ASU.
Learn more about IADPs at https://graduate.asu.edu/iadp
2 Lyons EE, Colglazier EW, Wagner CS, Börner K, Dooley DM, Mote CD, Roco MC (2016) How Collaborating in International Science Helps America. Science & Diplomacy (http://www.sciencediplomacy.org/article/2016/how-collaborating-in-intern...)
3 Data as reported on the NSF HERD survey