Marquette releases message supporting international students

The+news+release+said+that+Marquette+will+do+everything+possible+to+aid+international+students+affected+by+the+student+visa+policy+change.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

The news release said that Marquette will do everything possible to aid international students affected by the student visa policy change.

Marquette University released a statement Thursday discussing the implications of the new Department of Homeland Security guidelines on international students, according to a university news release signed by Terence Miller, Director of International Education, and William Welburn, Vice President and Inclusive Excellence.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Monday, according to its website. Under these new changes, international students on certain visas will not be permitted to take only online courses and will be bound by existing regulations limiting online credit hours to one class or three credit hours.

These changes affect F-1 and M-1 visa students, which are nonimmigrant students who are attending academic or vocational schools, respectively, in the United States.

Approximately 9% of the colleges and universities tracked by the Chronicle of Higher Education are planning to be completely online in the fall, 59% are planning for in-person education and 26% have proposed a hybrid model. As numerous schools around the country have committed to a fully online semester, such as UCLA and the University of Massachusetts at Boston, many international students would be affected.

The university news release also said that Marquette will do everything it can to aid international students’ academic experiences and is dedicated, as a Catholic, Jesuit university, to creating “an inclusive learning community proud to educate and employ individuals from many backgrounds, perspectives and national origins.”

International students at Marquette under the F-1 visa who will be in Milwaukee this fall will be allowed to take online classes if they are also taking in-person classes. Graduate students’ work will count as in person if they continue their research on Marquette’s campus.

Students who will not be in the United States this fall but wish to continue their studies were advised to contact their college advisors as their F-1  visa will be inactive if they do not return. The university news release said that the Office of International Education is communicating with students to understand the implications of the new changes.

According to Marquette’s Fall 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Dashboard, 243 of the 8,515 undergraduate students and 243 of the 3,304 graduate students are international students. Additionally, 40 of the university’s 741 full time faculty and 5 of its 556 part time faculty are international.

“Marquette University does not support any decision that limits access to higher education in the U.S.,” the news release said. “We especially want to remind all of our international students that you are, have been and always will be welcome here. Each of you make a unique contribution to our academic community through your diverse cultures and worldview enriching all of us.”

Some universities, such as Harvard, Columbia, Brown, Stanford, NYU and the University of Pennsylvania, have denounced the new guidelines and vowed to help international students by examining possibilities for hybrid courses, such as one-credit “global courses” that will allow international students to continue their education.

Marquette currently plans on opening in-person in the fall, with the semester set to begin on Aug. 26 and continue through Nov. 24, with remotely administered finals the week of Dec. 2.

This story was written by Shir Bloch. She can be reached at shir.bloch@marquette.edu.