Students and Scholars

Record Number of Students Choose UC Davis

Services for International Students and Scholars reported 3,259 international students at UC Davis in fall 2012 for the campus' Open Doors survey conducted annually by the Institute of International Education. This represents an increase of 22 percent, the biggest year-to-year change in over a decade. The leading category of growth was in the number of students staying for a period of work experience, which jumped 52 percent from the previous year. In other categories, undergraduates grew by 41 percent, graduate and professional students increased by 12 percent, and non-degree students gained 17 percent. If the non-degree students are counted according to their educational level in their home countries, the number of undergraduate international students on campus now surpasses the number of graduate level students.

It should be no surprise that the largest single group of international students come from China. South Korea is a distant second, followed by Japan, Taiwan and India. The same places of origin appear when only counting undergraduates, although the ordering is slightly changed, with Japan and Taiwan exchanging places for third and fourth. The top four places of origin for undergraduates are all in northeast Asia, and comprise 81 percent of all international undergraduates. Students from China alone account for 63 percent of this group.

One-third of undergraduates are majoring in a social science discipline. The next most popular area of study is the biological sciences, which attracts 11 percent of undergraduate international students. Another 8 percent major in engineering, followed by 7 percent in math and statistics, and slightly less than 7 percent in business (i.e. Managerial Economics). Graduate students are distributed very differently. 25 percent of graduate students are in engineering programs, followed by agriculture, the biological sciences, physical sciences, and computer science round out the top five areas of graduate study.

UC Davis tops the list of 'top producers' of Fulbright Scholars

UC Davis sits at the top of the list of U.S. research institutions recognized as "top producers" of Fulbright Scholars for 2012-13 — academics chosen to go abroad to teach and do research in the U.S. government's flagship program for international educational exchange.

Only two other research institutions matched UC Davis with six scholars each: UC Berkeley and Pennsylvania State University at University Park.

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program for this academic year includes the following UC Davis participants: Mark Mascal, chemistry; Richard Mines, research economist; Pamela Ronald, plant pathology; Henry Spiller, music; Ruxandra Vidu, chemical engineering and materials science; and Yin Yeh, applied science. Mascal and Ronald received awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program, appointments that are viewed as among the most prestigious in the Fulbright Scholar Program.

They are carrying on a tradition that began in the aftermath of World War II. The year was 1945, and J. William Fulbright, a new senator from Arkansas, proposed an exchange program as a much-needed vehicle for promoting "mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world." President Harry S. Truman signed the program into law in 1946.

Nearly seven decades later, "We strongly believe that the Fulbright Program offers UC Davis faculty, staff and graduate students important international research, teaching and outreach opportunities to complement our global agenda," said William B. Lacy, vice provost of University Outreach and International Programs.

Honoring Fulbright and Humphrey Fellows

Fulbright recipients and Humphrey Fellows were honored at the Humphrey-Fulbright Reception hosted by Chancellor Linda Katehi and Ralph Hexter in February 2013. The event included Fulbright Visiting Scholars and Students and UC Davis faculty Fulbright Awardees and current Humphrey Fellows.

Since its inception, the Fulbright Program has sponsored more than 300,000 "Fulbrighters" at home and abroad. UC Davis records show that the university has hosted 154 scholars since 1997 and sent 47 scholars abroad since 1998.

Science Without Borders Undergraduate Program

UC Davis was recently designated as a lead host U.S. university in a major initiative focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields sponsored by the Brazilian government. This initiative, known as the Science Without Borders Program, will provide funding for 100,000 Brazilian faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students to conduct research and study at the top universities in the world.

UC Davis Extension's Center for International Education manages the visiting undergraduate students from Brazil's Science Without Borders. Since the program launched in January 2012, UC Davis has hosted nearly 50 undergraduate students from Brazil and is the most popular destination for Brazilian undergraduates of all U.S. universities. Students have performed well in their coursework and research internship projects with 16 UC Davis faculty, learning skills that will enable them to become leaders in Brazilian academia and industry.

Kabang, The Hero Dog

Kabang, a shepherd mix, saved two children from a potentially fatal accident in the Philippines. In the process, she was horribly injured. She arrived at the UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital on October 11, 2012 after a long journey from her native Philippines. Her care is being overseen by Boaz Arzi and Frank Verstraete – two distinguished veterinary surgeons at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. Dr. Arzi originally came to the US from Israel under the UC Davis J-1 visa program as one of the many prestigious exchange visitors who join UC Davis each year. Kabang presented with pre-existing health conditions that significantly delayed her dental and facial surgeries. As the treatments for those conditions were successfully completed in February 2013, she proceeded on to her dental and facial surgeries in March 2013. Kabang came through both of those surgeries successfully and is currently recovering under the watchful eye of faculty and staff at UC Davis.

Global Ambassadors

Services for International Students and Scholars launched the Global Ambassadors program in winter 2013 with 24 mentors to provide peer support and programming for undergraduate international students. A new group of 25 mentors has been selected and are receiving their training in spring 2013 to assist new students during the summer and fall.

Innovation Without Borders

In March, UC Davis hosted 35 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows at the inaugural International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy. The academy represents the university's expanded involvement in the U.S. Department of State–funded Humphrey Program, which brings mid-career professionals from five continents to 18 host universities across the U.S. for a year of non-degree graduate study, leadership development and professional collaboration.

The academy, presented by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management's Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is one of just five Enhancement Workshops across the country developed for this year's Humphrey Program.

Roselyn Agumba Onyuro, a Humphrey Fellow at UC Davis, teaches conservation biology in Kenya. She also collaborates with local communities in conservation and management of aquatic resources. "The academy taught me how to work better with the various stakeholders as I plan my project and identify who to partner with, who to consult and—most important—determine who should be on my team and what I expect of them," she said.

"As Humphrey Fellows, we are being molded into leaders, and, as such, we shall be expected to initiate and run projects and to mentor others. The academy offered vital information in these areas. It was very interesting—and very packed—three days."

Ajay Raghava, a Fellow based at Cornell University and deputy director of the Ministry of Environment & Forests and the National Ganga River Basic Authority in India, agreed. "The workshop was helpful in teaching the skills to start a venture and be successful," he said. "The real-time experience to discuss my proposal [for holistic river conservation] with mentors was most important."

35 Fellows from around the globe kicked off the academy with an exercise in innovation. Working in teams, they created a slingshot out of a file folder, pencil, playing card, adhesive tape, and a rubber band to hurl a maltball into a distant glass. The message: networks and innovation are critical to bringing an idea to market.

Increase in International Graduate Applications

UC Davis' international graduate student population continues to rapidly grow, with an 8.4 percent increase in applications for fall 2012. Nationally, prospective international graduate school applications rose only 1 percent. According to the new Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) report, this is the smallest increase in eight years. The national increase for 2011 and 2012 were 11 percent and 9 percent respectively. The CGS attributes part of the decline to a decrease in the amount of applicants from China. However, UC Davis saw an increase in applicants from China as well as the Middle East, Africa, India, Canada, and Brazil.