International Student Interest Up 95%

July 15, 2014

Bradley University is experiencing a major increase in international students interested in attending Graduate School on the Hilltop. 

To date, Bradley has seen a 95% increase in international graduate school applications over last year. This is a growing trend for Bradley.  In Fall ’12, Bradley received 303 international applications, in Fall ’13, 408 were received and, so far, 794 international applications have been received for Fall ’14.  

Graduate school admits for international students also is up 85% thus far over last fall.  

Most of the international applicants are from India.  Dr. Jeff Bakken, Dean of the Graduate School, says this growth isn't by chance. 

“In September 2013 I spent two weeks in India attending educational fairs in various regions and marketing Bradley with Steven Dolins, Department Chair from Computer Science & Information Systems.  We had seen some success in recruitment from one particular region of India so we wanted to build upon that.  It worked.  We plan to go back this fall and do it again.”

At a time when many graduate schools are struggling to maintain enrollment, this is great news for Bradley and the Greater Peoria region.  The international interest in Bradley raises awareness of the region and increases opportunity for cultural experiences.  It’s also an economic boost for the region in a variety of ways. 

Bakken says Bradley has made some other changes to attract the international market including offering an online application system making it easier for students to apply and see where their application is in the process.  He says Bradley also has enhanced its communications strategy. 

“Many of these students are coming to the United States without knowing anyone, so we have created networking and social media groups where admitted international students can connect with each other prior to arriving on campus. We are also offering group travel options, assistance finding off-campus housing, more intense orientations, and cultural trips while they are here.”  All of this, according to Bakken, helps international students get acclimated to a new home and start their graduate school experience on the right foot.

To speak with Dr. Bakken about international student interest in Bradley’s graduate programs, contact the Office of Public Relations at 309-677-2242 or 309-677-3260.