The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a public research university with more than 25,000 students. The institution, created in its present form in 1956, is located on the East Side of Milwaukee, a short distance from Lake Michigan. UWM has a mission to make higher education accessible at every age and stage of life. It welcomes first-generation students who arrive from high school or years later after starting families, serving in the military or changing careers. Teaching and research takes place across 14 schools and colleges. The university’s sports teams are known as the Panthers – and there are 15 of them competing in NCAA Division I sports. Facilities on the 104-acre campus include cinemas, bowling, art galleries and an athletics facility that is free for students. UWM has the only school in the US dedicated exclusively to freshwater sciences – which can count on the ideal research facility in the shape of Lake Michigan. The UWM Research Foundation builds partnerships and develops patents to bring to market researchers’ innovations – in areas such as desalination and medical technology. Notable alumni include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Jim Rygiel, a visual effects supervisor who has won three Academy Awards for his work on the Lord of the Rings films. The institution has more than 180 courses at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level, with around 1,600 staff. In terms of international profile, UWM has around 1,000 international students from 80 countries and over 600 students studying abroad annually.