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University of Iowa News Release

July 5, 2005

UI Student To Discuss Australian Universities' Marketing Strategies July 11

In recent years, Australia has seen increases in the numbers of international students attending their universities and the United States has seen declines, prompting one University of Iowa graduate student to explore the keys to Australia's recruitment success.

Jaci Blumhagen, a graduate student in the UI Interdisciplinary Master's Degree Program in International Studies, will share insights from her research when she speaks on "Australian International Marketing Strategies in Higher Education," Monday, July 11, at noon in room 282 International Center. This free, public lecture is sponsored by UI International Programs and refreshments will be provided.

Blumhagen's thesis focuses primarily on the marketing needed and used by Australian universities. Her research involves interviewing university administrators in and around Melbourne. She said her interest in pursuing this project was fueled by the shifting numbers of international students at U.S. and Australian institutions.

"Statistics show that Australia and the United States directly compete for the same students, largely Asian students, and Australian institutions are very well-known for their marketing and recruiting of international students," Blumhagen said. "It's always good to know your competitors when you want to stay ahead of the market."

International student enrollment at the UI has remained relatively stable, defying national trends, and the UI now has the 42nd largest international student population in the United States, according to figures from UI International Programs' Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

In fall 2003, Blumhagen, of West Union, Iowa, was one of the first students to enroll in the International Studies master's program. Before that, she spent several years working for STA Travel, formerly known as Council Travel. Blumhagen received her bachelor's degree in hotel, restaurant and institution management from Iowa State University and then worked in England and Ireland for about nine months.

The Interdisciplinary Master's Degree in International Studies began in 2003 and is offered through the UI Graduate College Interdisciplinary Degree Program and UI International Programs. It is designed to appeal to students who have already identified their area of international interest and are suited to a flexible, tailor-made program of graduate study on international issues.

"The distinctive feature of this program is that it is designed to be student-based, and responsive to individualized interests," says UI International Programs Associate Dean Jane Desmond. "The program is flexible enough to appeal to the needs of a variety of students and to adapt quickly to changing world political processes, institutions, and cultural trends."

For more information or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Buffy Quintero, International Programs outreach coordinator, at 319-335-0345.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of international programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and the community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Buffy Quintero, 319-335-0345; Writer: Kent Nguyen