Global Engagement Solutions for Higher Education


The Importance of International Education: Insights from Paul Hofmann

March 5, 2024


From a podcast interview with Paul Hofmann,  a professional whose expertise is over four years as a Senior International Officer at the University of Louisville.

“One clear thing is the enrollment cliff is now here. And when we think about international student enrollment, that’s also a 10 out of 10 in terms of importance to offset.”


In this episode, Paul Hofmann, a 4x SIO currently at the University of Louisville, talks about the importance of international education to universities' overall health and vitality. They discuss the impact of international education on the enrollment cliff, diversity, and global engagement. Paul emphasizes the need for advocacy and building support and the strategic role of digital infrastructure—to streamline processes, make better decisions, and save the time of up to five full-time employees while increasing staff satisfaction and retention.

Advocating for International Education

In a conversation with Paul Hofmann, the Senior International Officer at the University of Louisville, the importance of international education to the overall growth and vitality of universities becomes evident. Hofmann rates its importance as a 10/10, highlighting its role as a diplomatic tool, preparing students to be global leaders, and offsetting the enrollment decline.
Hofmann emphasizes the need for continuous advocacy and support-building to change preconceived notions and ensure that international education is seen as more than just a program or sideline. He believes that international education is critical to the success of higher education institutions and the United States as a whole. By fostering diversity and promoting a better understanding of the world, international education contributes to the development of global citizens.

The Impact on the Student Experience

International education not only benefits international students but also has a significant impact on the entire student population. The rich diversity in the classroom and the exposure to different perspectives and ideas enhance the learning experience for all students. It prepares them to work in a global workplace and fosters a better understanding of themselves and the world they live in.
Hofmann emphasizes the societal benefit of diversity, as it bridges gaps and promotes a more inclusive and understanding society. By creating a diverse campus environment, universities build a stronger and more united community.

Changing Perceptions and Building Support

To ensure the continued support and growth of international education, Hofmann highlights the importance of changing perceptions and building support internally and externally. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a pulling back of resources and a need to rebuild international programs. Hofmann believes that education and advocacy are vital to changing perceptions and highlighting the importance of international education.
As the Senior International Officer, Hofmann sees his role as an advocate and orchestrator, bringing together different stakeholders and building a team to implement new programs and tools. He emphasizes the need to find a balance between strategic planning and implementation, as well as the importance of valuing and involving supporters in the process.

The Future of International Education

Looking ahead, Hofmann believes that international education will remain critical to higher education institutions. With projections of continued growth in student mobility worldwide, the demand for international education will only increase. However, international education may evolve, emphasizing hybrid and online programs, short-term certificates, and non-degree programs.

Hofmann sees the digital infrastructure as a crucial component in preparing for the future of international education. By implementing tools like Terra Dotta, universities can streamline processes, make data-driven decisions, and better serve the needs of students. The digital infrastructure also allows for greater efficiency, freeing up time for staff to focus on the core mission of international education.


International education is of utmost importance to the success and vitality of higher education institutions. It serves as a diplomatic tool, addresses the enrollment decline, and brings diversity to campuses. The future of international education will see an expansion of hybrid and online programs, catering to the needs of a diverse student population. Advocacy, changing perceptions, and building support are crucial in ensuring international education's continued growth and success. By embracing digital infrastructure, universities can better serve students and make data-driven decisions to shape the future of international education.

To catch the full interview with Paul, CLICK HERE.