The increase in international student diversity at the University of Georgia begs a question: how does UGA stack up to its peer and aspirational universities?
Peer and aspirational universities are institutions comparable to the University of Georgia. If a university is UGA’s peer, it is directly comparable to UGA in its current state. If a university is one of UGA’s aspirational institutions, it holds a higher standard or ranking than UGA at the moment (translation: the University of Georgia ‘aspires’ to be like them in the near future).
The universities discussed below were selected for comparison using the two criteria below:
- Were they listed as a peer or aspirational institution on the university website? Quite simply, if UGA doesn’t recognize the universities discussed as peer or aspirational schools, this comparison wouldn’t be legitimate.
- Are they a public university? This restriction is my own. There are private universities on UGA’s peer and aspirational schools list. However, public universities face similar environments in regards to funding and student demographics, so I decided to solely compare public schools.
So how does UGA stack up?
Let’s look at four different institutions: Michigan State University (MSU), University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (UNC) and the University of Alabama (UA).
MSU is one of UGA’s peer institutions, meaning that the University of Georgia views MSU as an equivalent university. UCLA and UNC are aspirational institutions. UA makes the list because, like UGA, it is a member of the Southeastern Conference, or SEC.
All four of these schools have varying international student populations, and a quick comparison puts UGA right in the middle. The University of Georgia has a larger international student population than both UNC and UA. MSU and UCLA have larger international student populations than UGA, though.
Further compare UGA and UNC, and you get some interesting finds. Both universities draw their largest numbers of international students from China and Korea. However, UGA has a larger Chinese student population, which numbers 761 at the moment. At UNC, there are 479 Chinese students.
Also noteworthy are the origins of other international students at both universities. Both UGA and UNC draw large student groups from Korea and India, but beyond that, UNC has more students coming from Canada and Japan, and UGA has more students coming from Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
Table: International student origins by country between 2000 and 2013
The full list of University of Georgia peer and aspirational institutions can be found here.