Chinese celebration


Missouri State University will foster an environment that is international in character — in teaching, research and service — so that graduates are ready to compete and succeed in an increasingly global society.

With telecommunications of all forms, email and the World Wide Web, global communication is instantaneous. Every year, trillions of dollars in goods and services are bought, sold and traded among countries and continents as part of the global economy. It is now commonplace for businesses and companies to have locations outside the U.S. Many difficult issues must be addressed globally: disease and pandemics, hunger, energy, the environment, peace and terrorism, to name only a few. Even athletics and all forms of the arts have become truly international in scope and participation.

It has never been more evident that students must gain global experience and cultural competency skills to be prepared global citizens and leaders. They must be exposed to an international environment. The curriculum must integrate globally focused studies. The students’ interactions with the international community should be fostered both on campus and abroad. To fulfill the university’s public affairs mission, students must become culturally competent.

There is a global battle for smart talent, defined as persons with excellent cognitive, professional and interpersonal skills, coupled with global experience and intercultural competence. Missouri State University will educate students to be global citizens and prepare them to succeed in the intensely competitive international workplace.

Operating from a position of strength

Today, approximately three million university students worldwide study outside their home countries, a 57 percent increase in the past decade. That number is projected to surge to more than seven million by 2025, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Nearly 25 years ago, Missouri State recognized this trend, embraced it, and began extending its international reach. From the beginning, the university’s dual challenge has been to be globally engaged while remaining locally connected.

The university will continue its global emphasis especially because the Missouri State experience has been enhanced by the more than 1,600 international students currently enrolled – more than triple from a decade ago. Those students come from 89 countries, with the People’s Republic of China accounting for more than half of all international students.

Over the years, the university has signed agreements with more than 60 partner universities in 22 countries to promote student mobility, faculty collaboration and participation in special programs.

Comprehensive global experience

The global experience opportunities at Missouri State run the gamut, and they are the reason Missouri State has been ahead of others in the globalization of campus. The number of international students has increased as a result of the support those students receive, with targeted orientations, around-the-clock assistance, and even alumni opportunities in their home countries.

For all students, there are global elements to the curriculum and in research and scholarly activities, as well as a full range of education abroad opportunities of varying durations. Scholarships and other forms of financial aid help boost participation in these programs. There also are efforts to make cultural connections beyond the classroom in residence halls, dining centers and student organizations. Further, there are multicultural programs that promote interaction with the campus community – faculty, staff and the entire student body.

In addition, there are a number of international faculty members on campus who bring fresh perspectives to the classroom and enrich the learning experience for students. Finally, university initiatives, such as the English Language Institute, the International Leadership and Training Center and the Foreign Language Institute, have elevated Missouri State’s international stature.

All of these opportunities help prepare students to enter a globalized environment for work, leisure and life.

Strategic priorities

  • To help reinforce its global environment, the university will attract a growing number of international students in targeted disciplines from an increasingly broad array of countries.
  • So that students have an appreciation for, and understanding of, other cultures, the university will enhance interaction of international and domestic students, faculty and staff.
  • To provide context and promote greater understanding, the university will continue to integrate an international component into curricular and co-curricular activities.

University goals

  • Increase partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations with an international focus.
  • Promote globalization initiatives and expansion of international programs.
  • Enhance recruitment efforts to diversify countries and cultures represented on campus.
  • Develop new or modify existing degree programs to better attract international students.
  • Develop initiatives to promote interaction among international and domestic students, faculty and staff, and to promote global learning for all students.

  • Raise awareness and promote the value of international opportunities for domestic students, faculty and staff.

Performance indicators

  • Enrollment
  • Student success
  • Quality of student learning
  • Faculty/staff