Associate Vice Provost for International Education David Di Maria shares with University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) the steps that have been undertaken to push forward their proposed initiatives for international students in the United States.
Di Maria, who is acknowledged as a U.S. expert in the international education community, revealed that he was at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., recently to brief Congressional staff on key issues affecting higher education and the U.S. economy.
The associate vice provost is pushing for the United States to (1) implement a national-level international education strategy, (2)improve support for students, and (3) adopt immigration policies that allow the U.S. to retain top graduates in its workforce. Once his recommendations are carried out, Di Maria is looking at the major impact these will have on international students, particularly those who are pursuing their graduate studies. He is positive that the initiatives will also encourage international students to choose the United States as their preferred study destination and contribute their skills and talents once they graduate and assimilate into the U.S. workforce.
Di Maria acknowledges that visa caps and related policies lead international student graduates to seek employment in other countries or head back home. He adds that in limiting opportunities for international graduates, such policies prevent the U.S. from reaping the economic benefits that the highly-trained graduates will contribute when they enter the workforce.
International students’ contribution to the economy
“International students boost innovation, support 455,000 U.S. jobs, contribute nearly $40 billion to the U.S. economy, bring unique diversity to our campuses, and bolster U.S. foreign policy,” Di Maria points out.
In the 2017-18 academic year report released by NAFSA (National Association for Foreign Student Advisers), now renamed NAFSA: Association of International Educators, nearly 20,000 international students are enrolled at Maryland’s higher education institutions like the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. These international students have contributed more than $700 million to the State’s economy and supported more than 8,600 jobs.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore Country has maintained a strong international student enrolment, with more than 1,000 international students attending UMBC annually over the past several years. However, many other universities across the country have been challenged by declines in international student enrolments, particularly in ESL enrolments, which impacted the economies of individual states in the United States.
The UMBC Graduate School, situated within Baltimore and Washington, D.C., is considered a major centre for graduate education and research and is in the top tier of research universities nationally with one of the highest classifications given by the Carnegie Foundation: Doctoral/ Research University (High Research Activity). Among the graduate degree programs that the UMBC Graduate School offers are:
- Applied Mathematics
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical Engineering
- Information Systems
- Mechanical Engineering
- Data Science
- Applied Molecular Biology
- Atmospheric Physics
- Biological Sciences
- Molecular & Cell Biology
- Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
- Emergency Health Services
- Engineering Management
- Innovation & Leadership
- Environmental Engineering
- Neurosciences & Cognitive Sciences
- Systems Engineering
- Applied Sociology
- Economic Policy Analysis and Education
International students who do not meet the English requirement are also encouraged to take a semester of the International Graduate Pathway Program in order to transition into their chosen degree program. The UMBC Graduate School is an education partner of EduCo in the United States. For a complete list of degree programs, availability of scholarships, fees, IELTS and other requirements, education agents and students may check out the EduCo Course Finder.
(Photo credits: Marlayna Demond)