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Portland State listed as top ESL college in the country
Author: John Kirkland
Posted: December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011 – Portland State University tied for first place in a U.S. News ranking of colleges with the highest student participation in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. 

The list, published Dec. 20, shows that 10 percent of PSU’s 2010 graduates participated in ESL programs.  PSU tied with the State University of New York’s Buffalo campus for top participation.

More than 1,800 international students from 98 countries are enrolled at PSU. The number of international students has increased nearly 50 percent in the past five years due to heavy recruitment abroad and a comprehensive strategy to make the university more international, said Patricia Wetzel, PSU’s interim vice provost for international affairs.

International students at PSU can be conditionally admitted without taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language, which means they have to complete coursework at the university before officially enrolling, the U.S. News article states.  “For those who need to become proficient in English, Portland State’s Intensive English Language Program offers open training to students, spouses and community members,” it continued.

Saudi Arabia, China, India, Japan and Vietnam are the top five countries of origin among PSU’s international students.  About 500 students will be enrolled in Intensive English Language during Winter term 2012, according to Judy Reed, director of PSU’s Applied Linguistics program.

For more on PSU’s international students, see

About Portland State University (PSU)

Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has nearly 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. Our downtown campus exhibits PSU’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while sustainability is incorporated into much of the curriculum.