Earlier this week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) announced international students that were planning to study at a U.S. college or university that only offers fall semester classes online must return to their home countries or transfer to another institution that offers in-person instruction.
President Edward Montgomery sent an email to the Western community that the university will provide international students with the ability to pursue WMU studies
“They represent us across the globe in business, administration, government, education and many other arenas, demonstrating time and time again that we prepare our graduates to make a contribution and a positive difference in the world, wherever and however they choose,” Montgomery said.
WMU enrolls more than 1,700 international undergraduate and graduate students. It also has an alumni network with over 140 countries.
“We stand with those across higher education in the belief that increasingly restrictive immigration policies undermine both America’s vast potential as a country as well as the potential embedded in our academic institution,” Montgomery said. “They stifle our competitiveness, thwart our search for global talent and deprive us of the benefits of global diversity that enrich us all. We will continue to do our part to advocate against these restrictions and urge others in the WMU community to do so as well.”
The email goes on to say that WMU’s model of instruction will ensure international students can take courses at WMU without going back to their home country.
“When our fall semester begins on Sept. 2, we will provide our international students with the ability to pursue their WMU studies,” Montgomery said. “Our structure will meet ICE’s criteria for a hybrid model, that is, a mixture of online and in-person classes, which provides the most flexibility for in-person education.”
The email goes on to mention the value that international students bring to the university.
“At Western Michigan University, we greatly value all of our students and continuously strive to create an open and welcoming learning environment,” Montgomery said. “Undergraduate and graduate students from more than 100 nations call our campus home, and we are exceedingly proud of our longstanding commitment to global education and understanding. We think it is critical that our international students know they are welcome here and that we make every effort to ensure that they can continue their studies and graduate from WMU.”