World Class

January 31, 2005

Duke is one of three U.S. research universities spotlighted in "Internationalizing the Campus 2004: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities," a report from NAFSA: Association of International Educators (originally the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers). The report showcases colleges and universities that are making innovative, wide-ranging efforts to integrate global approaches to campus learning. NAFSA is a worldwide association whose goal is to advance international education and exchange.

Five of the thirteen schools in the report--including Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--are profiled in depth and have also been awarded the first Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

"Duke has made extraordinary strides in becoming more thoroughly international over the last decade," says Gil Merkx, Duke's vice provost for international affairs. A commitment to international education is evident across the campus, with a significant number of international scholars, research centers, course offerings, partnerships, and study-abroad opportunities. In 2003, for example, Duke received seven federal Title VI grants--more than any other private university or college. These grants fund seven of Duke's international research and study centers, which focus on such parts of the world as East Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Duke also has more than a dozen additional international centers, programs, and working groups that focus on specific international topics or world areas, including international security, human rights, and South Africa.

Duke offers a wide variety of internationally oriented degree programs and advanced training centers, including a bachelor's degree in comparative area studies, a master's in international development policy, and the Global Executive M.B.A. Program. Nearly half of Duke's undergraduates study abroad, more than at any other research university.

At the undergraduate and graduate levels alike, the university draws a relatively large number of international students. The current freshman class comprises 130 students from thirty-five countries--8 percent of the class. The average at comparable universities is 6 percent. Fifteen years ago, only 1.4 percent of Duke undergraduates were foreign nationals. In the Graduate School, 33 percent of students are foreign nationals. Duke also has about 250 international faculty members, not including naturalized Americans and permanent residents, and more than 400 visiting scholars and post-doctoral students from other countries.

By 2010 administrators aim to expand course offerings on all major areas of the world, attract more international undergraduates, and encourage graduate and professional schools to collaborate on more international projects.