Stanley Nel (front, right),
USF vice president of international relations, meets with education officials in China, near Shanghai.
Word of mouth has made the University of San Francisco’s
master’s degree in financial analysis highly coveted in China, where it is
widely considered among the top in the U.S. if not the world.
Students and parents there see a premiere education in
financial analysis and USF as almost synonymous. It’s name recognition that
other universities envy and it has sparked a growing attraction among Chinese
in USF’s other programs.
To sustain and cultivate that attraction, USF recently
opened a new office in Beijing. “We’re building on that reputation and
educating people about USF’s good programs in other areas,” said Stanley Nel,
USF vice president of international relations.
It’s a focus that has paid off with the number of native
Chinese enrolled at USF rising dramatically, to 424 from just 41 in 2005.
Located in Beijing’s Central Business District, USF’s new
office is not far from the U.S. Embassy. Nel is currently hiring staff to man
the office six days a week. They’ll do everything from visit high schools and
college fairs to interview prospective students and respond to the questions of
parents who already have students at USF.
“Now, prospective students,
parents, and alumni have an immediate line of contact in Beijing,” Nel said.
Importantly, USF’s presence in
China has opened doors to partnerships with prestigious local universities,
among them Peking University and Soochow University, in which students attend
college for two or three years before transferring to USF to complete their
studies in the U.S. There are also opportunities for USF students to study
abroad in China.
Also in the works are events for
members of the USF community in China and job placement counseling for recent
graduates organized through the new office, Nel said.