The University of Wisconsin affirms the value of cultural diversity represented by international students, faculty, and academic staff at UW institutions. The University encourages its constituent institutions to receive international students and faculty into their communities in order to strengthen and expand the global academic market of ideas and knowledge. The University recognizes that international students and scholars have legitimate special needs, many of which are imposed by federal immigration laws and others which are ethical responsibilities.
A. Recruitment and Admission of Students
- UW System institutions will exercise care and abide by the ethical code of conduct established by NAFSA when contracting relationships with organizations or agencies which recruit international students on a per capita fee basis to ensure that such arrangements are in the best interests of students. All contracts must conform to Wisconsin State Statutes and purchasing requirements. Admissions decisions shall in all cases be made by the University in accordance with established academic criteria and such other requirements as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may impose upon non-immigrant foreign nationals.
- UW institutions will seek reasonable and appropriate consistency in determining certain admissions standards, such as TOEFL scores, transfer credit policies, recognition of degrees from foreign institutions, and the like, recognizing that differential policies in such areas may damage the academic credibility of the UW System. [See also Section III.D of UW System Administrative Policy 135 (SYS 135), UW System Undergraduate Transfer Policy.]
- UW institutions will establish reasonable and appropriate consistency in determining procedures for tuition payment, acceptance deposits, and other financial matters, taking into account the logistical constraints, which may be posed by international currency transfers.
B. Academic Support and Other Services
- Every UW institution that receives international students will provide an orientation program that specifically addresses the particular needs of those individuals.
- Every international student will enroll in a health insurance program contracted by the UW System or one of its constituent institutions, unless a waiver is granted for comparable or superior coverage. The premium for such insurance will be added to the student’s regular institutional billing for tuition, fees, and services.
- Any UW institution which admits students with English proficiency performance below established standards will provide an appropriate, professionally staffed ESL program to remedy such deficiencies. The students will pay fees for such programs, if not otherwise provided by UW tuition.
- UW institutions will seek to provide international students with fair and reasonable access to classes, housing, and other programs and services, recognizing that normal domestic deadlines and procedures for their delivery may require modification in order to accommodate the extended timeframe often created by the international admissions process.
- UW institutions will provide advising and other services as required by federal regulations governing non-immigrant foreign nationals studying in the U.S.
C. Employment and Delivery of Services to International Faculty and Academic Staff
- UW institutions will establish procedures to assure consistency and adherence to applicable laws and regulations in the hiring and continued employment of international faculty and academic staff.
- UW institutions will inform international faculty and academic staff of their rights and responsibilities appropriate to their visa classification. Certain visa classifications require the host
D. Relationship with DHS and other Government Agencies
- UW institutions seek to maintain positive, cooperative relationships with state and federal agencies. However, in no situation dealing with international faculty, academic staff, or students will a UW institution serve as an enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or other governmental agencies.
- While a UW institution has a responsibility to inform international students, faculty, and academic staff of the potential impact of their actions upon their immigration status, in no situation dealing with international faculty, academic staff, or students will a UW institution threaten or intimidate such persons with the revocation, loss, or infringement of their immigration status.
- UW institutions agree to maintain the confidentiality of personal records and other information not in the public domain which they may possess about international students, academic staff, and/or faculty, and they will report such information only in aggregate, non-specific form to requesting agencies, except as required by federal regulations.
E. Respect for Cultural Diversity
- In accordance with UW Board of Regents Resolution #6156 dated 10 July 1992, UW institutions will accommodate the observance of religious holidays by international students, academic staff, and faculty.
- UW institutions will seek to accommodate dietary restrictions, housing requests, and other cultural expectations of international students, academic staff, and faculty.
- UW institutions will seek to develop and support an environment conducive to the facilitation of cross-cultural interaction.