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College and University International Education Programs

By Jill Marshall,2014-06-29 05:59
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College and University International Education Programs

Managing

the Risks

    College and University International Education Programs

    Managing the Risks

    Preface

    The Institute of International Education’s annual “Open Doors” report has consistently detailed the dramatic growth in the number of American students studying abroad.

    In 2006, more than 205,900 students studied abroad, an increase of 8% over the 2005 report, and an increase of 9.6% over the 2004 report. And, so it goes. The latest numbers are up by 144% in the last decade alone. Many colleges and universities are now sending 40% or more of their students abroad.

    With the expansion of globalization, it is likely this upward trend will continue. A recent U.S. government report has asked Congress to create a new fellowship program to increase the number of American undergraduates studying abroad a decade from now to one million. This program will increase undergraduates studying abroad to about five times as many students as (1) last year.

    What was once commonly known as junior year abroad and reserved for a few has since developed into a menu of choices. According to the “Open Doors” report, only 6% of students studying abroad now go for a semester or academic year. Students are traveling to a greater number of countries for various durations, and often more than once during their academic careers.

    Colleges and universities recognize that international study abroad experiences give students a broader perspective on human diversity, cultural diversity, and intercultural relations, as well as aid in the development of future global leaders. To assist the reader in understanding some of these complex issues, a number of hypothetical scenarios are presented.

    Because this topic is timely, important, and critical to manage, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk (2) Management Services, Inc. (“Gallagher”) selected International Education Programs as the

    topic for its second Think Tank event, which was held February 1113, 2007.

    The goal of the Think Tank was to develop a document for colleges and universities to use to help manage the risks of international education programs.

    Understanding the need to engage more persons on campus in the planning and managing of international education programs, Gallagher invited a Blue Ribbon team of recognized experts from the higher education community to participate. They included directors of risk management, international educators, legal counsel, and business and education officers representing colleges and universities around the country that have notable and extensive international education programs.

(1) Securing America’s Future: Global Education for a Global Age. NAFSA:AIE 2003

    http://www.nafsa.org/public_policy.sec/public_policy_document/study_abroad_1/securing_america_s_future

     Global Competence and National Need: One Million Americans Studying Abroad. Commission on the Abraham

    Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program. 2005

    http://www.nafsa.org/public_policy.sec/public_policy_document/study_abroad_1/Lincoln_commission_report (2) The term “international education program(s)” used throughout this document is defined as any and all international

    programs undertaken and participated in by students, faculty, and staff in the course of their studies, research,

    and/or employment.

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    As more students are traveling abroad to enhance their education, so too are more staff and faculty traveling internationally in the scope of their responsibilities. Examples of typical college and university travel include:

    ; Independent study, service learning, and internships

    ; Mutual exchange programs

    ; Direct enrollment into foreign institutions

    ; Joint ventures with foreign institutions

    ; Students enrolled in home campuses abroad

    ; Student organizations and clubs traveling internationally for humanitarian projects, to perform

    in arts groups, to compete in athletics, etc.

    ; Faculty led study tours

    ; Faculty research and sabbaticals

    ; Attendance at conferences and other meetings

    ; Alumni travel abroad programs

    ; International recruiting fairs

    ; International Program staff to manage/oversee programs abroad

    ; Fundraising activities by staff and faculty

    As with any increased institutional activity on or off campus, such as promoting, contracting and sponsoring international education programs, there comes an increase in risks to be managed. This document is meant to help colleges and universities obtain a broad understanding of the associated risks of international education programs and then adopt polices and procedures that will allow them to continue encouraging and promoting important travel abroad among all of their interested constituents.

    The following are a few recent and well-publicized incidents involving students, faculty and administrators while traveling international for academic purposes or on behalf of their institutions: ; A civil war in Lebanon resulted in the American University of Beirut having to close its

    campus for six weeks and several hundred American students, faculty, and administrators

    were evacuated by sea and air, many to nearby Cyprus.

    ; A group of students were caught in the crossfire when a bomb exploded near them in

    Cambodia.

    ; A student was the only person in her party to survive a Hutu kidnapping in Uganda. ; A research student was severely burned in Bolivia when a kerosene lamp exploded. C:\convert\temp\432454823.doc

    ; A student contracted leishmaniasis, a rare skin disease that causes disfigurement, while

    studying in Costa Rica.

    ; An African-American student was harassed and assaulted while studying in Germany. ; A group of students and faculty members, while traveling in Ecuador, were ambushed by

    gunmen.

    ; A faculty member was killed during a research trip to Brazil.

    ; A fire in an overcrowded dormitory at a Russian university resulted in the deaths of 44

    students, most of whom were international students not fluent in Russian.

    When considered closely, these examples illustrate the fact that international travel risks can touch upon almost every aspect of campus life including recruiting, admissions, curricula development, crisis planning and response, family relationships, waiver and contract reviews, transportation planning, and preservation of institutional reputation, to name a few. For the Gallagher Think Tank, the first order of business for the study team was to consider a systematic approach to thinking about the types of travel a college or university may offer. The solution was to classify travel into three categories: 1) sponsored travel, 2) contractual programs, and 3) permissive travel. Following are descriptions and risk analysis of each. ; Sponsored

    Institutionally sponsored travel includes everything a contractual program provides (see

    Contractual Programs below), the difference simply being that the college or university chooses to organize, operate and maintain the program(s) with little to no outside assistance. Sponsored travel for students can include traditional study abroad, such as ten weeks or more resulting in academic course credit, short-term experiential and service learning trips, internships for work experience in a chosen field, and language immersion programs. They can also include international education programs co-sponsored by two or more U.S. colleges or universities. Although more than one institution may be involved, these joint programs are still considered 100% sponsored that is, no outside contracted agencies are responsible for the programs. Sponsored travel can also include faculty leading study trips for course credit, academic research, sabbaticals, teaching/lecturing at partner institutions/programs, consulting, conference attendance, coaching, and leading alumni travel programs.

    Staff may travel internationally in the course of their employment duties to attend international recruiting fairs, conduct site planning for alumni trips, to do consulting, and attend international conferences.

    Sponsored travel creates the greatest degree of risk and liability for the institution. The duty and standard of care is greater as there is no other party to transfer any or all of the risks. ; Contractual Programs

    Typically, contractual programs outsource all aspects of traditional semester or year-abroad

    study programs that result in academic course credit. Contracted programs can also include experiential and service learning trips, internships for work experience in a chosen field, and language immersion programs.

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    Although contractual programs create risks to the institution, they can be managed in such a way to minimize liability for the institution through well-crafted contracts, hold-harmless agreements, and waivers.

    ; Permissive Travel

    Permissive travel includes those trips that students, faculty and staff may elect to take for purposes of academic and professional development but which are not required, sponsored, paid

    for, organized, or endorsed by the institution.

    Examples of permissive travel can include extended stays before and after sponsored or contracted trips, self-arranged internships, self-funded research and study, self-organized consulting or lecturing at foreign institutions, and voluntary participation in alumni travel programs and student organization activities.

    In most instances, permissive travel creates the least amount of risk and liability for the institution. The desire of everyone involved in the development of this document is that colleges and universities will use it to manage, more comprehensively, the enterprise-wide risks that international travel creates.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

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    This document would not have been possible without the commitment and participation of the following persons:

    Special presentations on international travel were provided by:

    ; Marc A. vanderHeyden, Ph.D., President, Saint Michael’s College

    ; Ambassador John M. O'Keefe, Deputy Director, Foreign Service Institute,

     U.S. State Department

    ; Mary Dwyer, Ph.D., President and CEO, IES (Institute for the International Education of

    Students)

The Study Team members included:

    ; Jon Booth, Executive Director International Travel, Syracuse University Abroad ; Allen Bova, Director of Risk Management and Insurance, Cornell University ; Joseph L. Brockington, Ph.D., Associate Provost for International Programs, Kalamazoo

    College

    ; William Hoye, JD, Executive Vice President for Administration, Planning and Legal Affairs,

    IES (Institute for the International Education of Students)

    ; Marjorie Lemmon, Risk Manager, Yale University

    ; Vincent Morris, Director of Risk Management, Wheaton College

    ; David Pajak, Director of Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety;

    Syracuse University

    ; Ellen Shew Holland, Director of Risk Management , University of Denver ; Gail Stevenson, Ph.D., Director, International Programs, Champlain College ; Margaret Tungseth, Deferred Gifts Accountant/Insurance Administrator, Concordia College ; Ruth Unks, Risk Manager, Maricopa County Community College District

    ; Robert Zerr, Director of Risk Management and Safety, University of Notre Dame Representatives of Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc. were: ; John McLaughlin, Managing Director, Higher Education Practice

    ; John E. Watson, Executive Director, Higher Education Practice

    ; Leta Finch, Executive Director, Higher Education Practice

    ; Elizabeth Francy Demaret, Managing Director, Worldwide Risk Services Group The Study Team who has prepared this document strongly supports international experiences and also recognizes the unique challenges and risks that they bring to students, faculty and the institution.

    As with any major task, the first step to managing risks of international travel is to commit to getting started. It is our hope that this monograph will help you do just that.

John McLaughlin

    Managing Director

    Higher Education Practice

    Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc.

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    Table of Contents

    Page Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 1 I. International Travel: An Enterprise-Wide Risk .................................................................. 4 II. Policy Issues and Considerations ..................................................................................... 5 III. Program Classifications ................................................................................................... 6

    A. Sponsored ............................................................................................................ 7

    B. Contractual ........................................................................................................... 8

    C. Permissive ........................................................................................................... 9 IV. Occupational Safety Management and Foreign Travel ................................................... 12 V. Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 13 Appendix A Sample Self-Assessment Checklists .................................................................... 14 Appendix B Insurance Coverages ........................................................................................... 30 Appendix C Sample Documents ............................................................................................. 33 Appendix D Additional Resources ........................................................................................... 47

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    Introduction

    From an international perspective, the world is presenting us with a continued growth of multinational companies, a greater number of cross-border workers, a growing number of (1) consumers, and an ever increasing amount of imported goods and services. This challenges

    us to become more transnational and colleges and universities have been responding accordingly.

    As described in the Preface to this document, colleges and universities are providing greater opportunities for international experiences for their students, faculty, and staff through sponsored travel, contractual programs, and permissive travel.

    Consequently, more students are traveling abroad for academic purposes; more faculty are involved in international research, lecturing and attending international conferences; and more staff are traveling for administrative purposes such as recruiting at international student admission fairs. There are also more U.S. branch campuses in foreign countries, for example branch campuses exist in Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, India, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, and The United Arab Emirates.

    As globalization continues to broaden, colleges and universities want to be sure their graduates are academically, technologically, and practically prepared to become global leaders and to be prepared to work effectively in a cross-cultural environment.

    Until recently, typical international travel consisted of a semester or year of study abroad for a small percentage of undergraduates. Today, on some campuses, close to half of the students travel abroad for academic purposes in programs ranging from a couple of weeks to several months or longer. In some cases, the administration may know little of these activities. For example, more faculty are building international travel requirements into their syllabi and receiving approval for the curricula changes, in some cases from their deans or chairs, with little discussion about the need to manage the risks inherent in that travel.

    The following hypothetical example illustrates how a new study program can emerge on campus with no knowledge, oversight, or input from the administrative personnel responsible for assuring the safety of students.

    A professor in the college’s health sciences division takes a vacation to Tanzania

    with a tour group to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. While there, she witnesses the

    poverty and deprivation of many Tanzanians and is moved by the significant toll

    AIDS has taken on the adult population, leaving many children orphaned.

    She decides her students will benefit from a similar experience and perhaps be

    able to help the local community in some way.

    She discusses a plan with her dean to take students in her Infectious Disease

    class to spend two inter-session weeks living and working among the AIDS

    orphans to help build a school and to assist in teaching.

    The dean approves a budget request to get the course offering active. The

    students fund their costs through tuition for the added course requirement and pay

    their own airfare.

    The professor’s expenses are provided by her department.

(1) See, for instance, Jaishree K. Odin and Peter T. Manicas, eds., Globalization and Higher Education; University of

    Hawaii Press; 2004.

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     This scenario raises multiple questions for this fictitious institution, including: ; Does approval by the dean end the institution’s responsibility in overseeing this added course

    requirement?

    ; If the added travel is a course requirement, what are the ramifications if a student opts out? ; What guidance, direction, and assistance with waivers and hold-harmless agreements should

    the professor seek from her institution?

    ; What are the professor’s responsibilities to her students while in Tanzania?

    ; Where will the students be housed?

    ; How will the professor manage any student illnesses or other types of emergencies? ; What pre-departure and arrival orientation will the students receive?

    ; Is there necessary insurance coverage in place to protect the students and employees? ; Will any of the travelers be underage? If yes, what are the special considerations? ; What post-trip debriefing will the students receive?

    Whether a matter of perception or reality, many believe the world is becoming more dangerous. Combine that with the fact we in the U.S. live in a litigious environment, and there is no surprise that college and university administrators are more concerned than ever about the safety and well-being of those traveling internationally for academic and institutional purposes. Some concerns include health care facilities and trained providers that differ from U.S. norms; vehicular accidents and carjackings; muggings; rape; infectious diseases; evacuation and repatriation in the event of illness, injury, or death; terrorism and kidnappings; and foreign legal systems, which often have harsher penalties and fewer “rights” of the accused.

    The following hypothetical scenario illustrates why risk management is essential to the planning process.

    The Afar region of Ethiopia is a popular archeological research area for many

    faculty and students. In this region, in the early 1970s, the famous skeleton of

    “Lucy,” one of the earliest known hominids, was discovered.

    It is also an area to which the Ethiopian government recommends that one should

    not travel without armed guard protection because of a growing number of

    carjackings and kidnappings by small separatist bandit groups.

    For years, Professor Jones has been spending several weeks over the summer

    doing archeological research in the region and every summer he takes a small

    group of graduate students for two-week stints to assist in digs which he has

    required in his syllabus for course completion. He is very familiar with the area

    and has never felt at risk and believes the travel warnings are for novice tourists.

    On this summer evening with temperatures reaching close to 100 degrees

    Fahrenheit, Professor Jones takes his five graduate students to a local pub for

    beer to cool off from the day’s work. The pub is the local hangout for all of the

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     As they are enjoying the relaxation and camaraderie, the pub is stormed by a

    dozen masked men carrying machine guns. All of the patrons are told to line up

    and face the wall with their hands above their heads.

    As each person is frisked, their money, jewelry, and other possessions are taken.

    Professor Jones, in a valiant effort to protect his students, turns around to protest

    and is shot. One female student begins to cry. She is pulled from the group and

    made to leave with the bandits.

    That night, the president of the university where Professor Jones teaches is

    watching the nightly news as a young woman, blindfolded, makes an appeal to the

    U.S. government to pay whatever ransom is demanded for her release. Recalling

    something he had heard about one of his faculty members doing summer

    research in Ethiopia, he calls the director of international programs and asks if she

    is aware of any faculty member or students in Ethiopia. She says she thinks that

    Professor Jones did summer research there but she doesn’t know where exactly

    or if he is there now. She only knows that sometimes he takes students as part of

    their course work.

    The next call she gets is from Professor Jones’ wife fearful that the student she

    watched on TV is with her husband. She wants to know what the university is

    going to do.

    Is your college or university prepared for this?

    The above examples are based on real life events. They are not, however, meant to discourage offering international education programs as any situation that occurs outside of the U.S. can very well be mirrored at home. Consider that thousands of students, faculty members, and college and university staff members travel internationally annually in which few negative experiences are reported back. On the other hand, distance, foreign laws, and language barriers can be complicating factors when complicated situations arise.

    It is for this reason that the goal of the Study Team was to produce a document, not to discourage international travel but, instead, to encourage the consistent implementation of sound enterprise-wide risk management principles, techniques, and solutions when planning international education programs.

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