Navitas partnership brings more international students to Moscow
This fall, the University of Idaho welcomes a new population of international students to its campus. The students, which represent nearly 30 countries, are part of a new partnership with Navitas.
Navitas is a global higher education partner with more than 25 years experience increasing international students’ access to higher education and preparing them for future success.
The partnership, which started in January 2017, is an important step in making a UI education accessible to students around the world, said Dean Kahler, vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management.
The United States is the destination location for students, Kahler said, and the marketing environment is highly competitive. Navitas has recruiters in more than 80 countries and has partnered with over 30 universities in two decades.
“The power of a Navitas is the ability to reach those areas that are out of reach for Idaho. Navitas has 170 recruiters on the ground. It’s incredible. It’s an incredible network that we will now leverage,” said Andrew Brewick, executive director of the Navitas Global Student Success Program (GSSP) on the Moscow campus.
Through the partnership, students recruited through Navitas spend their first year at UI in the GSSP, known as a pathway program. The pathway prepares international students for success at UI by providing an integrated, structured program, focusing on academic course content, intensive English language instruction, study skills development and enhanced support services.
UI benefits from Navitas’ 23 years of international education experience. The partnership provides intercultural training, teaching and learning strategies, plus a global educators network and overseas support to faculty and staff. Courses are taught by university faculty for UI credit, but the pathway provides additional time and instruction to help the students adapt to an American learning style, Brewick said.
“It’s this holistic group, with Navitas hosting specific courses designed to meet international students' unique needs," Brewick said. “We make sure that we are also connecting students with their home colleges and their departments, helping them to build relationships that they will use to be successful as they move toward graduation. The success rates are phenomenal. The students who work through the pathway program are overwhelmingly able to move into and then complete a degree.”
After completing the first year in the GSSP, the students transition into their second year at UI prepared for the U.S. academic classroom. The GSSP continues to serve as a home base and support structure, complementing existing university resources such as the International Programs Office and student support services.
“We have a warm, caring nurturing environment; a safe community that is welcoming to international students. This is a perfect place for internationals students to come and study.” Dean Kahler
Brewick is familiar with UI’s academic structure already; he served as the director of Advising Services for the university for seven years before transitioning to Navitas last summer. He has a had a passion for working with international students since he and his wife, Mary Ellen, spent a year as assistant language teachers through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.
“It was so much fun to work with an international student population, to understand and experience cultural differences in that way,” Brewick said.
Both Brewick and Kahler emphasize that increasing the number of international students attending UI does much more than increase enrollment — it’s also an extension of UI’s land-grant mission. Exposing Idaho students to other cultures and ways of thinking helps them become better global citizens, more tolerant of other viewpoints, as well as better future employees.
“In order for our graduates to be globally competitive in the career world, they need to have some intercultural competence that comes from having firsthand engagement with individuals from very different backgrounds and cultures,” Brewick said. “These experiences help prepare our graduates to be global citizens and be globally competitive and celebrate a global perspective. We also know from employers that those are precisely the kinds of skills they are looking for from new professionals who will be successful in jobs and careers.”
With the high demand for an American education, the partnership also offers many benefits to the international students who come to campus.
“We have a warm, caring nurturing environment; a safe community that is welcoming to international students,” Kahler said. “This is a perfect place for internationals students to come and study.”
Article by Savannah Tranchell, University Communications & Marketing