December 4, 2015

Peter F. Biehl to Discuss Recommendations for Admitting and Integrating International Students Developed at University of Buffalo

BERKELEY, CA, December 4, 2015 – Peter F. Biehl,  anthropology professor at the University of Buffalo, will present a talk on strategies for public research universities to better integrate and engage international students into campus life, on Dec. 9th at Berkeley.   The number of international students at American universities has risen by 73 percent in the past 10 years.  The benefits of having more international students on American campuses are clear: apart from contributing billions of dollars to the US economy, international students bring a diverse set of experiences to the American campus and community. This allows for the sort of unique environment where students from diverse backgrounds can exchange ideas on and off campus.  But the question remains whether the American public research universities are prepared for including and engaging with such large numbers of international students, especially in STEM and professional schools.   

Biehl’s talk will present recommendations and best practices from a report developed by a task force at the State University at New York at Buffalo (UB) in the areas of admissions and recruitment, integration in campus life, and the student experience of international students.  The talk will also touch on questions of training faculty and staff and of community and alumni engagement. 

Included in the report, titled “The Global Imperative: Making UB an International University” are some specific recommendations for improving integration of international students into campus life, such asdeveloping living/learning spaces in campus housing that facilitate interactions between international and domestic students, expanding cultural programs, and enhancing services and staff to support current and projected enrollment growth of the international student body.

To internationalize the UB student experience for both international and domestic students, the report recommends integrating global perspectives across the length and breadth of the institution’s curriculum. This can be achieved by internationalizing teaching in every discipline by revising curriculum and funding proposals for new courses.    

Faculty must be trained and engaged to meet the institution’s goals of international education, according to the report.  Recommendations include creating funding for faculty leadership of international exchanges, identifying international experience and fluency in a foreign language as a plus in faculty hiring and promotion, and assigning appropriate value to internationally-oriented work.  

These recommendations meet the imperative for an institution to train students and faculty for the challenges and promises of the global community, and to promote and celebrate the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic differences of its international students.

 Carol Christ, Director of Center for Studies in Higher Education, will moderate the presentation by Peter F. Biel  at 768 Evans Hall, from 4-5:00pm on Wednesday, 12/9

Sponsored by: The Center for Studies in Higher Education 


Peter F. Biehl is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA) at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), and has taught at universities in Halle, Freiburg, Cambridge and Paris. He has served as chair of the campus-wide course evaluation committee, the budget and resources committee of the new General Education Program, and task force for inclusion and engagement of international students. He also serves on the Council on International Studies and Programs, and has forged international university partnerships with the universities of Cambridge, Kiel, Paris/Sorbonne, and Tarragona. He has created study abroad programs in Italy, Turkey and Albania and received in 2012 the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Internationalization. 

Carol ChrististheDirector, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley; former President, Smith College; and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UC Berkeley.

Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) was established in 1956 and was the first research institute in the United States devoted to the study of systems, institutions, and processes of higher education.  The Center’s mission is to produce and support multi-disciplinary scholarly perspectives on strategic issues in higher education, to conduct relevant policy research, to promote the development of a community of scholars and policymakers engaged in policy-oriented discussion, and to serve the public as a resource on higher education.