International students in the news

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Wayne State University responds to new ICE policy

Wayne State University is responding to new guidelines put in place by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for international students. The new policy, according to the university, would "impose restrictions that put undue burdens on students and institutions as we continue to deal with uncertainties caused by the pandemic." This would require international students to be enrolled in at least one in-person class (which can be a hybrid) to maintain their visa status during the fall semester. The decision was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WSU has about 1,500 international students. "We have joined higher education institutions and associations from across the country who are calling for changes to these unfair and impractical policies and are mobilizing to advocate on behalf of our international students," associate vice president of educational outreach and international programs Ahmad M. Ezzeddine,  said in a press release. "As these efforts continue, we are also reviewing the specifics of these guidelines to identify areas that will require changes in our fall plans to ensure compliance with the new rules. The planned hybrid model (a combination of on-campus and remote/online classes) we were already considering for the fall term should provide some flexibility in that regard."
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Michigan universities trying to prevent deportation of international students

Wayne State University and Oakland University will join the likes of Harvard, MIT and the University of Michigan in a fight to keep international students from being deported. The White House said if colleges don’t reopen, international students will have to finish their studies online from their home countries. The universities are now creating in-person courses to keep talent in the U.S. Rather than letting their international students be deported if schools go to a 100 percent online learning model -- they are figuring out how to make courses with the minimum bar of accommodation to keep those students’ visas safe.
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A bleak picture for international enrollment

As colleges try to plan their fall operations and shape their classes, they face a big question that will largely be answered by forces outside their control: If they do resume in-person classes, will international students be able to join them? The global pandemic is causing widespread uncertainty: routine visa processing is suspended at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. International travel restrictions are in place in many countries. Commercial flight options are limited at best. College administrators say they have little choice but to plan for sizable declines in international students and the tuition revenue they bring. “It’s going to be predicated on two things -- first what we do here on campus, face-to-face versus remote and online, but also the more important part is what’s happening outside of the U.S. with consulates reopening and students being able to get access to visa appointments and being able to make it to the U.S. once things open up,” said Ahmad M. Ezzeddine, associate vice president for educational outreach and international programs and senior associate to the president for special initiatives at Wayne State University. “From everything that we’re seeing, the likelihood of having new international students physically here in August and September, I don’t see how that is possible.”
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New podcast from Wayne State features stories of Iraqi students studying in Detroit

Twenty one Iraqi college students came to Wayne State for three weeks over the summer to learn about American culture and democracy. They were here as part of the Iraq Young Leaders Exchange Program, an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and funded by the U.S. Department of State. While in Detroit, the students worked on leadership and communication skills. As part of the curriculum they put together a podcast. Colleen Ezzeddine is the communication faculty member who worked with the students on the storytelling project. “The podcast will give you an insight into Iraq’s young leaders of today and what’s on their minds,” says Ezzeddine. Each episode features one of the students telling a personal story from their life. Ezzeddine says the topics touch on death, medical challenges, what to do after high school and more. “The students mentioned that they wanted Americans to know that, on one hand they’re just like anybody else. And on the other hand they’re people that have gotten the short-end of the stick in certain situations but that they’re very dedicated, as one of them put it, to ‘make Iraq great again.’”
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St. Clair College, Wayne State University expand cross-border partnership

Wayne State University and St. Clair College signed five articulation agreements Wednesday at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts, offering students the opportunity to develop their education between both institutions in two countries. Students in the accounting, business administration, computer technology, interior design, and marketing programs will now have the option to apply credits from their two- or three-year diploma toward a university degree in their field at Wayne State and receive both a diploma and degree in four years. Wayne State University president M. Roy Wilson said the partnership will save students time and money while building a résumé “that will make them attractive to employers on both sides of the border.” He echoed the value for business students to gain international experience through education. “I think right now, because of the way the world is and the way education is, you pretty much have to have some sort of international exposure,” Wilson said. “That’s the way business is.” With the enhanced partnership, St. Clair College students will receive Wayne State’s Great Lakes Tuition Award, a tuition break for Ontario students. Through the award, Ontario students will pay 10 per cent more than students in Michigan — around 50 per cent less than other international students. Wayne State is planning to hold an open house in November at St. Clair College to answer any questions from interested students.
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Wayne State offers counseling for Muslim women on campus

Wayne State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is offering a new service to Muslim women on college campuses. The new group, which will meet weekly, aims to provide a place for women to identify and discuss the issues and struggles of being a Muslim woman on a college campus. Kaifa Alsoofy, a university counselor at Wayne State who came up with the idea for the group, said in her work as a counselor, she’s seen Muslim women face issues like identity struggles and family, cultural or religious expectations.
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15K Mich. 'dreamers' wary of Trump changes

“Since its founding, Wayne State University has welcomed all who dream of a better life and supported all who study, work and live on our campus to achieve their potential,” Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson said in a letter to the campus community sent the day after Trump ended the program. “We join hundreds of universities, as well as government, business and community leaders across the nation, in expressing our disappointment in this decision and urging Congress to work together and quickly find a solution to this important issue,” Wilson wrote.