LINCOLN — The University of Nebraska's governing board approved a five-year plan to spend $1.4 million annually to recruit students in countries where the school's brand has little recognition.
The Board of Regents extended its partnership Thursday with EduCo Global to recruit full-time, degree-seeking students who need help applying and obtaining visas. The partnership also provides those students with support services after enrollment.
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said the partnership between the university and education company started as a pilot program in 2015. The Lincoln campus has enrolled about 250 students over the past two years using EduCo Global from countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia. The university consequently netted an additional $2.1 million in tuition revenue.
"When you look at the competition level for students across the country, it's pretty intense," Bounds said. "Clearly, the competition for international students is also intense. Many universities across the country contract with companies that have a presence in countries around the world to recruit for them."
As part of the deal, the university splits tuition revenue with EduCo if the firm successfully recruits degree-seeking students to take college courses in Lincoln. Those students are charged the out-of-state tuition rate.
System officials said attracting more international students to the Lincoln campus will bring several benefits.
"We want all of our students to have a global experience, but not very many students can go study abroad," said Amber Williams, the university's assistant vice chancellor for academic services and enrollment management. "Some of that is bringing the world to the university."