Joint Venture with INTO Extends Mason’s Global Reach

Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:00 am, Last Updated: March 3, 2014 at 7:48 am

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international flags

International flags fly in the Johnson Center atrium on the Fairfax Campus. About 125 different countries are currently represented in Mason’s student population. Creative Services photo

By Michele McDonald

George Mason University is partnering with a private company to greatly expand the university’s global reach and build international student programs, the university announced today.

The joint venture with INTO University Partnerships will strengthen George Mason’s reputation as one of the most diverse universities in the United States. Mason currently has an international student population of nearly 2,000 students from 125 countries. The INTO partnership is expected to add another 1,000 international students to Mason’s campuses in the next five years.

“The INTO-Mason partnership signed today will help increase the university’s enrollment and boost global education for all of our students, both of which are important strategic objectives for George Mason,” says Ángel Cabrera, Mason president.

The partnership will help INTO Mason students transition to university life through special programs taught by Mason faculty in a supportive learning environment. INTO Mason students will take courses ranging from conflict analysis and resolution to engineering to music to business. Students will also have full access to Mason’s campus facilities and services.

“INTO Mason will not only enrich the experience for all faculty, staff and students at the university, we anticipate that it will ultimately foster greater understanding of the United States around the world through a more connected culture of learning,” Cabrera says.

INTO staff and recruiters

INTO staff and international recruiters recently toured Mason to learn about the university and the opportunities available to international students. Photo by Evan Cantwell

Increasing the school’s international population will benefit all of Mason’s students by exposing them to a wider range of cultures, languages and views. They will leave the university better prepared for a world that is increasingly connected and a workforce that has become more global.

“International students bring with them varied perspectives, cultural diversity and opportunities for global learning and connectedness,” Cabrera says. “The program will increase teaching and research opportunities for faculty, boost economic activity and add international perspectives in Fairfax and across Virginia. It will also enrich learning experiences for domestic students and create a wider global alumni network.”

INTO partners with leading universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Asia to expand opportunities for higher education. The programs are intended to help students succeed and achieve more globally diverse and integrated campus communities.

According to John Sykes, group managing director of INTO University Partnerships, “INTO Mason will ensure the success of international students by delivering innovative academic preparation programs and personalized support services that build upon the university’s existing resources. With its proximity to Washington, D.C., Mason has the unique potential to impact global education on a large scale.”

Pathway programs combine academic course work and English language training to help international students adapt to an American university environment and prepare for future success as degree-seeking students at the university. Mason’s existing Pathway programs will be greatly expanded under INTO Mason; the university expects to offer more than 40 program options at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“The INTO Mason partnership is based on a shared mission to lead the way in extending U.S. higher education internationally while enriching the educational experience domestically,” says David Stremba, managing director of North America for INTO University Partnerships. “The partnership will build on Mason’s signature learning experience based on its stellar academic reputation as a leading research institution, its unique programs and top-quality faculty.”

Mason is the fifth U.S. institution to partner with INTO, joining Oregon State University, University of South Florida, Colorado State University and Marshall University. Since 2006, INTO has successfully launched partnerships with 18 universities around the world. Each INTO partnership is individually planned through a collaborative process and designed to address the specific goals and objectives of the institution.

INTO recruiters

INTO staff and recruiters pose at the George Mason statue during their visit. Photo by Evan Cantwell

Write to Michele McDonald at mmcdon15@gmu.edu

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