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UC’s International Bearcats Given One of World’s Best Welcomes

UC earns high marks for warm welcome, available technology resources and virtual learning on the International Student Barometer Survey results.

Date: 6/9/2015 11:00:00 AM
By: Melanie Schefft
Phone: (513) 556-5213
Other Contact: Tom Robinette
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Melanie Schefft

UC ingot   The Hottest College in America continues to stretch long and loving arms toward its international students.
Slide portraying UC as number 3 worldwide most welcoming for international students

The University of Cincinnati ranks in the top three worldwide in the Arrival category for Welcoming, Personal Banking and Sports Facilities, and in the top 10 for Academic Program Organization and Campus Buildings, according to a recent International Student Barometer (ISB) Survey.

Since UC was the first American institution to participate in the ISB survey when it was established in 2005, the university has experienced a 20 percent increase in the past decade in its satisfaction ranking in several sub-categories, especially for actively encouraging students to apply to UC if asked.

Other improvements in the past decade are prominent in the areas of Welcoming, Orientation, Sport Facility, Finance, Career Services, Bank Accounts, Home Friends, Language Support and Worship Facilities.

“University-wide efforts to revamp arrival and orientation have made an impact,” says Ron Cushing, director of UC International Services. “The New International Student Conference, free airport pickup, the iBearcatsGlobal system, have all had a positive impact on student perceptions about arrival, orientation and welcome activities.”

The ISB organizes its data in four categories: Learning, Living, Support and Arrival. Out of 164,863 students responding from 290 institutions in 18 countries worldwide, UC ranked 19th overall for Arrival, 40th overall for Learning, 82nd overall for Support and 140th overall for Living. Each category is further divided into more specific areas of analysis.
UC Bearcat mascot stands with UC international students

When measuring primary factors for deciding where to study, UC’s international students ranked the university’s Institutional Reputation and strength of their Specific Program of Study as 95 percent of the reason (importance) for choosing UC, with Cost of Living and Cost of Study following closely behind at 92 percent.

The survey, which measures the international student experience from the time of application to graduation – and all the activities in between – pits the results of each institution against other participating peer institutions nationally and globally, and is sensitive to variations in levels for all categories from year to year.

While UC’s international student enrollment has steadily increased, in the last year the ISB survey results for UC have dropped in satisfaction from 37th overall in the 2013 wave to 56th place in 2014, especially in the Student Funding and Campus Jobs categories.

Cushing attributes some of the decline to a drop in funding and an increase in competition for campus jobs, as UC’s international student population has grown by more than 40 percent in the past decade.

But that figure doesn’t affect UC’s image on a global level. UC continues to enjoy a 91.6 percent overall satisfaction level for Learning and Support over other institutions internationally who come in at 86.8 and 88.7 percent respectively.

UC also rated higher than the U.S. national average in four areas that fall under the top 10 key influences for choosing UC over other institutions. In areas of Institution’s Website, Friend’s influence, Alumni of This Institution and Current Students at This Institution, UC rated higher on a national average by more than 25 percent.

Doctoral-level students were the only student population that did better in overall global perceptions, especially for recommending UC to others thinking of applying here. And for number of days from application to letter of offer, UC rated 10 percent higher than the global mean, averaging 59 days.
Slide portraying UC as number 1 in U.S. for technology resources for international students

And compared to the rest of the U.S., UC doctoral students ranked the university higher than the rest of the nation under a Learning satisfaction category for Top Selection, Academic Program Organization, Technology and Performance Feedback.

Students from 209 institutions in 18 countries – including 27 U.S. schools – participated in the 2014 ISB survey. And at UC, 918 of the 3,150 international students participated, which was up from 750 students in 2013. 

When compared to other countries, UC ranked first and third for:  

•    Bank account services
•    Welcoming

And UC fared even better when compared to other U.S. universities, ranking first or in the top three for:

•    Sports facilities
•    Campus buildings

•    Technology
•    Physical library
•    Online library
•    Virtual library

•    Bank account services  
•    Welcome
•    Orientation and registration

UC placed ninth among the 27 U.S. schools, which included Indiana University; Miami University; Northwestern University; Rutgers University; University of Illinois; University of Minnesota; University of Missouri and University of New Mexico.

When compared to other U.S. schools, UC also soared above the national average in areas of Transportation Links, Social Activities, Campus Environment, Housing and Living Costs and Sports Facilities.
UC Bearcate mascot stands with international student.


Out of the more than 918 UC international students who took the survey, 83 percent of the respondents indicated they would actively encourage students to apply to UC or encourage students to apply if asked.

Among the international participants in the survey were University of Oxford, University of Sydney, Technical University of Denmark, Trinity College Dublin, University of Wales, University of Western Australia, University of Tasmania and University of Waterloo, just to name a few.

•    UCIT UC Information Technologies
•    New Student Orientation
•    UC International Services
•    UC Admissions

UC’s Third Century Initiative and UC International Services emphasize the importance of global engagement, diversity and inclusion. International enrollment for fall 2014 was nearly 3,150 graduate and undergraduate students, which was an increase of more than 150 students from 2013 and up over 1,500 from 2009. Students from Asia (China, India and South Korea) continue to make up the majority of UC’s international population.

The ISB was started by the International Graduate Insight Group, an independent benchmarking and consultancy service for the education sector.