IIE Blog Opening Minds
IIE Blog Opening Minds

Joint Recommendation for Global Engagement Policies During Ebola Crisis

By: IIE on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

IIE joins with AACRAO, NACAC, and NAFSA in sharing with our members the following guidance, as each institution implements policies and practices related to Ebola and other global public health concerns. We welcome your feedback on how these issues are being handled locally and your recommendations for future action.

With recent reports of individual cases of Ebola in the U.S., campuses and states are developing or revising their own policies and protocols to protect others from possible infection. Higher education institutions and leaders also have a vital role to play in educating students and the wider community about the dangers of stigmatizing an entire world region or shunning individuals who are symptom-free or have completed an appropriate monitoring period.

Each institution must formulate policies on international admissions and study/research abroad that make sense in the local context, based on the latest advice from national and local experts. We encourage member institutions to also ensure that their policies do not unnecessarily restrict the welcoming of students and scholars from Africa in an “over-abundance” of caution, or discourage needed assistance to the region by researchers or scholars who are offering to help contain the Ebola epidemic. Our colleges and universities are experienced and well-equipped to handle such health and safety emergencies, as we have done in the past, and to provide leadership beyond the campus to the wider community.

As educators dedicated to promoting and sustaining international academic exchanges, we all can play an important role in sustaining our institutions’ global engagement, even while addressing current and future health and safety concerns. Detailed information on Ebola and advice on how to handle this current crisis and other health and safety emergencies, including links to other useful websites, like those of the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can be found on NAFSA’s webpages below:

NAFSA's EA KC Health and Safety Subcommittee
NAFSA’s ISSS Subcommittee on Crisis Management

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For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.

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