In an effort to increase its visibility and outreach, UTD is opening its first international outreach office in New Delhi, India.
According to Meenakshi Sharma, senior manager of outreach and recruitment for the International Center, the project began in July. She said that the office is the first step in UTD’s plan to bolster enrollment numbers and recruit students from various countries. Sharma added that an objective for UTD is to increase international enrollment in the undergraduate population as well. According to collegefactual.com, international students account for roughly half of graduates but only 4.2% of undergraduates. Other goals include shaping UTD into a high ranking public research university as well as one that produces “global citizens.”
“Another very important aspect is to create synergy across various university partners and to work collaboratively towards research,” Sharma said.
Sharma said that the office will include a physical space open to alumni, students and faculty visiting New Delhi. She added that the office will be located in India’s capital to increase visibility as a metropolitan hub for political, cultural and educational activities.
“Within India, we have got a huge interest and UTD is quite popular,” Sharma said. “Down south, we are already pretty popular and we already have a very strong presence, so we thought it would be a good idea to set up the office in New Delhi to increase the visibility in the northern part of the country and it is easy to get connected to the rest of the Asian countries through New Delhi.”
The office, which will serve all of Asia, aims to expand outreach by actively engaging with high school students, counselors and principals while working with both Indian and Asian partner universities. She added that they plan to offer other attractive features to students including scholarships for international students.
“[The International Center] have not been doing a lot of outreach activities before I joined, but after [the creation of] this office, we would be participating in a lot of career fairs and reaching out to the students proactively,” Sharma said. “Increasing enrollment is our focus and we are going to focus more on the undergraduate market because that is somewhere we are lacking here in this region. We have more graduate students compared to undergrad, [so] this would be again [include] educating the schools we feel are the best fit for us about what UTD has to offer and finding the right fit from there.”
Sharma added that the establishment of the new office would improve UTD’s relationship with other countries and ultimately increase diversity and enrollment from other regions.
“India is great, but we need to have students from other countries [and] representation from other regions as well,” Sharma said. “We are proactively going out and meeting with the partner university, whether it is India or it is in Bangladesh or it is in the Philippines or it is in any other Asian country. We are reaching out to them and expressing our interest to work with them to tell students [about] the quality of education that is being offered at UTD.”