Hudson Global Alliance Webinar Q&A

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Webinar Series Q&A

The Hudson Global Alliance Webinar Series presents discussions by international education experts of contemporary issues in international student recruitment and enrollment at colleges, universities and independent secondary schools. Here, you will find some questions and answers from our previous webinars.

Jonathan Burdick –
Vice Provost for Enrollment @ Cornell University

1) Recent NYT article re more colleges admitting via wait list:  please describe the situation as you understand it, and it’s effect on intl students on wait list.

There wasn’t a lot of new data in that article. The present uncertainty is likely to drive increased and prolonged wait list activity. That effect will be tempered somewhat by the extra level of uncertainty for international students who need to secure or renew visas (because colleges will be less likely to make new offers until that uncertainty is resolved). My estimate is that there will a fairly ‘typical’ level of activity for international students until after mid-June, at which point it might dry up completely or accelerate depending on the visa news, or accelerate but for online-only experiences.

2) The push back to January still presumes ‘normal’ will be resumed in 2021. What happens if that doesn’t happen?

That’s a dark scenario indeed! Already, online instruction in fall, especially if it’s accompanied by reduced enrollment and/or reduced tuition collections, is going to put a huge financial strain on a very large number of institutions. That strain flips into a rapid acceleration of closings if the same constraint moves forward into early 2021.

3) In low income countries, we have high achieving low income students at most of the US colleges and these students from disadvantaged groups face even greater difficulty. In developing countries with limited internet access and low broadband capacity, opportunities for online learning are likely to be drastically constrained, especially in rural areas. How can we go about creating an inclusive online learning or are we just going defer their application until we deliver or what strategies can be implemented in such cases?

These are the hardest hits. What I hope might develop—and would be prepared to move toward if necessary—is creating or identifying a new resource for HALI students if they’re only able to attend online, presumably in major cities and maybe tied to Education USA and similar offices. Another option (one we’re actively managing at Cornell) is gathering students on third-country campuses where SARS-CoV-2 is well-managed.


4) Negotiated judgement between NACAC and Govt:  what changes in policy are likely?

I don’t think we’ll see announced policy changes explicitly tied to the DOJ consent decree. Instead, we’ll see more competitive practices, including discounting and prolonged contacts/’sales’ activity. In theory that’s supposed to help the students and families as consumers, although in practice (as is always the case), the best-informed consumers will benefit most.

Karin Fischer –
Chronicle of Higher Education Correspondent

1) If the international students stay in the US during the Summer and if the Fall classes are not going to be on-campus, and if the temporarily relaxed rules regarding online classes are expired in the meantime, that would be a very terrible situation.  What can universities do to to assure this doesn’t happen. 

Colleges have been advocating for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to relax the rules for international students and online learning, typically through international-education associations like NAFSA and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Those groups have been coordinating with “presidential-level” organizations like the American Council on Education, but it would still probably be helpful for international education and admissions offices to make sure that visa rules are on the radar of their campus governmental-relations staff, so that such changes are on the university’s broader legislative and regulatory agenda. They also can lobby their congressional delegations and public officials in the state. SEVP has committed to relaxing the rules through the summer, and the Homeland Security agency has said the potential of further flexibility into the fall is something officials are considering.

2) What efforts are universities engaged in with local, state, and federal representatives (or organizations like NAFSA) to advocate and promote efforts to reopen consultate offices for students intending to enroll this fall semester?

Efforts focused on reopening consulates are very similar to those about regulatory flexibility on visas (see Question 1). In this case, the focus is on the State Department, rather than on Homeland Security.

3) For students who will be starting online for Fall (especially for master’s students), they won’t be eligible for CPT to do internship off-campus next summer. How should universities handle this situation for those students who would need an internship in the U.S. next summer (for program requirement and for gaining professional experience)?

Thus far, the one piece of guidance SEVP has offered on CPT is to permit currently enrolled students to engage in CPT abroad, provided it has been authorized prior to the CPT start date and that there is adequate supervision. I have not seen any proposed changes that would give more flexibility to incoming students’ participation in CPT, especially on shorter-term graduate programs. That said, it’s possible SEVP could address this in future updates, as the agency’s guidance to colleges and students has become more comprehensive over time. On the other hand, SEVP could leave it up to individual colleges and programs to figure out since participation in CPT and internships are requirements of schools/programs.

Dr. John Wilkerson – 
Asst. Vice President for International Services and Executive Director of International Admissions @ Indiana University Bloomington

1) How much is Indiana University considering the use of virtual exchange to keep global learning going in a time when in person travel is out of the question?

Virtual engagement has been one consideration being explored by IU since shifting to remote learning. Recognizing that many partner institutions throughout the world will be facing similar challenges, we’re considering how we might leverage those connections, as well as our IU Global Gateway Offices in maintaining cross-cultural learning while remotely instructing.

2) Has Covid affected your overall enrollment numbers?  if yes, any specific countries?

While we won’t have specific enrollment numbers until the fall census, we are anticipating declines in international student enrollment. It’s still too early to accurately project how significant those declines may be. Unfortunately, there’s no good model to rely on to predict a scenario like the one we’re all facing.

3) How are your colleges planning for international student programming in the fall? Such as socials, get togethers, any programs that help build connection between international students. Are you thinking of ways to do this virtually? Should this even be a priority?

This should be, and absolutely is a priority. One of the first steps our office took as the campus moved to remote instruction, was the creation of a website and scheduling of virtual activities to help support community and social wellness among students. This work has continued within our International Student Life team, and is very much informed by feedback from international student leaders. I suspect many other universities have done the same, and I’d encourage a bit of digging on various university websites. You’ll likely find some pretty great ideas for maintaining virtual community and student care.

4) What its your take on reduced tuition for online classes?

While university financial models fall outside my expertise, I’m confident that the costs associated with delivering instruction through all of the remote models we’ve employed is not an inexpensive task. Likewise, the services that we continue to provide to students have not been reduced. These are factors that will likely influence universities’ tuition and fee setting for the fall term.


Hudson Global Alliance is a non-profit membership organization which brings together education leaders at forward-thinking U.S. prep schools, college, and universities to better understand and serve international students who want to study in the U.S.