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New initiative will enhance WSU diversity, global reach

By Craig Lawson, International Programs

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University is launching an initiative with INTO University Partnerships to increase international diversity. The effort is an essential step in the Drive to 25, the university’s commitment to achieving recognition as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030.

WSU and INTO representatives sign an initiative to increase global diversity on Dec. 19. (Photo by Dean Hare, WSU Photo Services)

During a ceremony held in Pullman Monday, WSU celebrated the beginning of a long-term agreement with INTO, a private global education company with U.S. headquarters in San Diego. INTO works with more than 20 leading universities across the world to expand international student enrollment.

“Enhancing international diversity on campus is critically important,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “This new venture will increase the exposure of students throughout the WSU statewide system to international perspectives, thereby better preparing them to work in environments around the globe and collaborate with colleagues from different cultures.”

Collaboration to prepare international students for success

The collaboration will create INTO Washington State University, which will be managed by a board of directors that includes leaders from both organizations. WSU and INTO will develop academic pathway programs for international students to improve their English language comprehension while preparing them to be successful, degree-seeking students.

“Washington State University has long been reputed for its outstanding global engagement and innovation,” said John Sykes, co-founder and chief executive officer of INTO. “This partnership is a natural outgrowth of the university’s commitment to advance and apply knowledge that improves quality of life and economies locally, nationally and globally. We couldn’t be more proud to partner with the university at this exciting time in WSU’s history.”

WSU is the ninth university in the United States to team with INTO, which has helped U.S. universities recruit more than 15,000 students from around the world. In 2015-16, nearly 90 percent of students enrolled successfully progressed to their full degree program at their host university.

“When we began this process, INTO’s commitment to student success really got our attention,” said Asif Chaudhry, vice president for international programs at WSU and former U.S. ambassador to Moldova. “It was imperative for us that we collaborate with INTO, an organization with a tremendous reputation for supporting students from recruitment through graduation.”

Agreement to boost WSU’s global engagement

The most important consideration in the internationalization initiative is the cultural gains that additional international students will bring to the university, Chaudhry said.

The initiative also will boost WSU’s global engagement and outreach activities, he said, providing new opportunities for the university to share its expertise in research, teaching, service and economic development with global partners. International programs manages an international research and development portfolio in several Asian and African countries valued at $21.5 million.

“More than 30,000 students already know what an outstanding institution WSU is,” said Amy McGowan, chief operating officer for INTO’s North America region. “We are excited to introduce students from around the world to the Cougar family.”


News media contact:
Craig Lawson, WSU International Programs, 509-335-3346,


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