Agreed Policy Features of the Visiting International Student Program (VISP) Between the Office of the Provost and Division of Continuing Studies
UW–Madison’s mission statement, 2009 reaccreditation self-study, and strategic plans all give attention to the vital role of preparing “global citizens and leaders of the future” and establishing collaborative relationships across the world. The Global Competencies Task Force charged the campus to “scale up” programs that require faculty, staff, and students to cross-cultural and linguistic boundaries as we work and learn in collaboration with others. The Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) unit of the Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) serves as the admitting, advising, and dean’s office for all nondegree students at UW–Madison, including visiting students here via our formal international exchange program. Given frequent inquiries from institutions, governments, and individuals from abroad, interest in short-term study at UW–Madison was evident. As these international students are advanced-level undergraduates and graduate students, their enrollment presented the opportunity to increase and diversify international students on campus and strengthen international partnerships without compromising the goals for undergraduate admissions to place priority on freshmen Wisconsin residents. With the endorsement of a new Visiting International Student Program (VISP), ACSSS could extend its role of admitting visiting students and thereby support a number of institutional goals including:
- Develop global competencies of our students and staff via increased interaction with students from other countries in learning, research, and out-of-classroom activities
- Build positive global connections with institutions abroad seeking to send their students here for one term.
- Support faculty efforts to establish productive collaborations with partners abroad, advanced students, and institutions.
- Increase the number and diversity of international students at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level, where student collaboration and team problem-solving is highest.
- Recognize the conviction that global proficiency contributes to the success of all students and can be gained via the internationalization of our campus.
- Increase the number of lifelong partners of UW–Madison who live in countries all over the world.
- With non-resident full-time tuition assessment, contribute to the Educational Innovation (EI).
Support and Implementation
December 2011: On behalf of DCS, Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning Jeff Russell proposed to Provost Paul DeLuca, Jr., the Visiting International Student Program as a program to enroll international students for short-term study as visiting undergraduate and graduate students.
January 2012: VISP was approved by Provost DeLuca and the fiscal model was subsequently endorsed by Associate Vice Chancellor Tim Norris, with the business model and basic policy terms as follows:
- Prospective students are advised of enrollment limitations and admitted by ACSSS in accordance with the rules of the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and UW–Madison University Special student policies.
- 100% VISP students’ tuition captured for the DCS 131 account to support the new admissions and student services program and to support campus-wide Educational Innovation initiatives to serve all populations of students.
- Cohort: $529,000 transferred to L&S for two cohorts (52 students between the Depts. of Mathematics and English Summer 2014 Projections:
- 174 projected total (non-cohort and cohort) VISP student enrollment
- $710,000 projected total revenue
- Non-cohort + 20% of cohort tuition: $274,100 projected to be administered by Continuing Studies for VISP and campus-wide EI initiatives
- Cohort: $435,900 projected to be transferred to schools/colleges for the following four sponsored cohorts:
- $306,300 projected to be transferred to L&S for the 60 students from Nazarbayev University in Kazakhastan enrolling in Geoscience and Political Science
- $75,000 projected to be transferred to L&S for the 22 Brazil Scientific Mobility students enrolling in English as a Second Language (ESL)/English Department
- $30,600 projected to be transferred to Engineering for the 12 students from Saudi Arabia enrolling in online Engineering Mechanics & Astronautics courses
- $24,000 projected to be transferred to Engineering for the 28 students from China enrolling in Civil and Environmental Engineering courses
Year 3, 2014-2015 (Projected 75% growth):
- 437 projected total (non-cohort and cohort) VISP student enrollment (244 fall, 193 spring)
(Spring 2015 drop as the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program is sending its final group fall 2014)
- $4,000,000 projected total revenue
- Non-cohort + 20% of cohort tuition: $3,450,000 projected to be administered by Continuing Studies for VISP and campus-wide EI initiatives
- Cohort: $550,000 projected revenue to be distributed to L&S for cohorts in the Depts. of Mathematics, Statistics, and English (67 students total in fall, 47 students total in spring)
- For VISP-sponsored cohort students, 80% of the students’ tuition is transferred by DCS to the school/college of the host department(s) as 101 funds. The school/college and the department(s) establish an agreement of how this transferred tuition is distributed to create course capacity for the cohort students.
- Course sections developed with VISP cohort tuition funds may allow the enrollment of non-cohort students, such as degree students, as space allows.
- VISP cohort students have a required set of courses in the host department(s), but they are able to take additional courses as space, academic advising, and their tuition payment allows.
Students in VISP and VISP-sponsored cohort groups share the same student requirements and goals, including tuition rate, full-time status rules, mandatory orientation attendance, opportunity to participate in student activities, and support to fully engage in a range of learning opportunities—both in the classroom and outside the classroom—while at UW–Madison. This full engagement supports not only VISP students but other UW–Madison students and programs too which benefit from the greater connection and opportunity to learn from each other.