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Books, not borders says Cabrini University

The Radnor, PA university aims to increase international student enrollment and support in their 2020 strategic plan. 

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Amid pushes for travel bans and border walls at the federal level, Cabrini University is looking to instead follow the example of their namesake Mother Cabrini, the Catholic Church’s patron saint of immigrants, by making their programs more accessible and campus more welcoming to international students.

According to the Loquitur, the university — which serves over 3,200 students in Radnor, PA — plans to increase enrollment of international students, establish accredited English Language Learner support, and strengthen overall services for international students by the year 2020. 

Dr. Paul Wright, Cabrini’s Assistant Provost of International Affairs, told the Loquitur that it’s a necessary step: 

“As Cabrini continues to internationalize,” Wright said, “we are developing support structures for international students ranging from English language assistance and academic advising specific to their needs to out-of-classroom supports such as cultural trips in our region, communal activities for internationals, as well as opportunities for our international students to interact with all Cabrini students in a welcoming environment where diversity is not only recognized, but actively prized.”

The university currently allows international students to apply for financial aid and academic scholarships, according to Charlie Spencer, the school’s director of international and military recruitment, as cited in the Loquitur

Cabrini is one of many U.S. colleges and universities that are looking to strengthen international programs in the face of declining international student enrollment nationwide.

Some reports indicate  that decreased international enrollment can be linked to the practical and intangible effects of the Trump administration's immigration policy and rhetoric since taking office last year. Of the more than 2,000 U.S. higher education institutions included in a 2017 Open Doors survey, 57 percent cited the social and political environment in the U.S. as one of the reasons for the decline in international student enrollment, with 68 percent attributing the decrease in part to the visa application process and visa denials or delays.   

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