Falling short, globally

Editorial by Kernel staff. E-mail [email protected].

A weak pat on the back.

UK announced international enrollment is up more than 50 percent from five years ago, according to a Nov. 16 article. While this may initially seem impressive, the actual numbers are quite lackluster.

At a university of more than 20,000 students, the international enrollment this year reached a meager 358 students.

While an international student population of 1 percent is the norm amongst other benchmark universities such as Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina, it shouldn’t be UK’s comfort zone.

The responsibility is in the state’s hands, yes, but the future lies in what UK can do to cultivate relationships abroad that flourish.

This is a step in the right direction, but the university would be wise to further expand its recruitment abroad, particularly in a climate of rapid globalization and international business, communication, research and commerce.

Additionally, international students need to be better integrated into campus — rather than quarantined in an international students’ dorm and confined to international student events.

Bringing in people who look and think differently will challenge the university to reach new heights and look at itself critically — rather than play to ideals of the past. Tradition is nice, but breaking parts of tradition and evolving is what success is about.

Rather than pat itself on the back, the university must continue its international pursuits and applause will necessarily follow.