One of Lehigh’s strategic goals is to increase the diversity of our international student body, with students who come from more countries around the world.
As part of a new international undergraduate recruitment strategy, staff from the Admissions and the Office of International Students and Scholars met with admissions counselors and visited high schools in 25 countries this fall, including six countries in Southeast Asia and 12 in Africa.
“The international recruitment landscape was predicted to be more of a challenge this year,” says Morgan Volkart, Associate Vice Provost, Western Region and International Recruitment.
“We took this as an opportunity to ensure that high schools, counselors and students know that Lehigh is dedicated to continuing to recruit the best and brightest from abroad. We focused on diversifying the incoming class to ensure that we continue to reach students all over the world while building on areas where we traditionally see students from.”
In Lehigh’s most significant outreach on the continent to date, Samba Dieng, director of the Office of International Students and Scholars dedicated almost a month to traveling around Africa, meeting with more than 800 high school juniors and seniors, as well as counselors and parents.
The hard work paid off. At a time when international interest in a U.S. education is decreasing, Lehigh saw an increase of 32 percent in applications from non-U.S. citizens, with applications from 117 countries. The Class of 2022 will be the most internationally diverse yet—130 international students have enrolled (including six from Africa), roughly 10 percent of the incoming class.
“More countries are represented in this incoming class than any other with 39,” says Volkart. “Nine new countries will now be represented in the undergrad population. This means that Lehigh students will have more opportunities to learn from the various perspectives and experiences that their peers bring to the Lehigh family!”