WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Global Education Office at MSU held a Zoom meeting Thursday to answer questions about visa concerns that could force students to leave the country.
International students at MSU now have more clarity on those rules if the university goes fully online in Fall 2020.
Global Education Director Michael Mills said the meeting was successful and the Zoom actually reached it’s maximum for participants.
However, he adds there’s still a bit they need clarity on from the government.
Shock and concern came over some MSU international students this week after learning they could be forced to leave if the university decides to go solely online.
For now, MSU plans to return to the classroom.
“The U.S. government has kind of always had rules in place that students, international students need to be taking face-to-face classes and can only take a certain percentage online, but with COVID-19 and the pandemic, those rules were relaxed and so we were waiting to see if they were gonna continue to be relaxed,” Mills said. “Once we received that information, we started trying to process it.”
Texoma’s Homepage spoke with Sharome Burton, a student from Dominica, before the meeting.
“I just urge people to see the value of international students in any society and of course the U.S. economy here, it’s one of the biggest draws of international students in the world, if not the biggest because of the standard of the education system here and the support we’ve generally received,” Burton said.
Mills said 10% of MSU’s student body is on a visa.
“Our international students perform very well, they’re retained, they graduate at very high levels, they’re often winning a lot of the student awards, so some students that have made some real sacrifices to study here in the U.S., they’re a very important part of who we are.”
Now with the information released, the GEO is seeking more guidance from the government.
“In truth, I think all of the schools are waiting on the guidance and the clarification on what that’s going to look like,” Mills said.
Some questions still unanswered, but students reassured the university has their best interest at heart.
Mills said his office is still helping students who have graduated and are now in medical school who are now dealing with their medical school going online.