The University of Wyoming is establishing new connections with China, the most common country of origin for the roughly 1,100 international students living in the state.
A delegation of UW officials recently traveled to the country, signing agreements with two Chinese universities that will see more international students coming to Laramie, as early as fall 2019.
One agreement, involving the UW Department of Atmospheric Sciences, will make it easier for Chinese master's students to complete their second year abroad in Wyoming.
The other agreement establishes a center for visiting faculty and scholars in UW's Division of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. That agreement also commits Shanghai University of Sport to supporting 10 of its students as they train and practice coaching with UW's Nordic ski team.
Anthony Ogden, UW's associate vice provost for global engagement, led the delegation.
"These types of partnerships are rather commonplace across the country here, but not as common necessarily yet at the University of Wyoming," he said. "We travelled there to solidify these types of arrangements as well as to continue to enhance our existing partnerships."
Ogden said he hopes to increase international enrollment here and see more UW students study abroad. He'd also like to see more research collaborations.
"The University of Wyoming, the state of Wyoming - we have a role to play in the world where we are leaders in various areas," he said. "And in turn as well, there are many things going on in the world that really have a direct influence on us here in Wyoming."
NAFSA: Association of International Educators estimates that international students contribute nearly $26 million a year to the Wyoming economy. But Ogden said this number has been decreasing as international enrollments at UW have dropped in recent years.