Aug. 29-Sept. 12, 2003
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ACC looks beyond athletics with Traveling Scholars Program

‘A great ride’ comes to a smooth landing
Reynolds puts love of numbers to work for University
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Breast Care Center offers high-tech health, warm environment
Appalachian clinic draws record crowd
Positive spin keeps wheels turning at Parking & Transportation
Bus schedule, escort changes enhance safety
Visa problems take toll on international students
Summer session office losing longtime leader
From bugs to satellites: A symposium on the limits of landscape
McCormick Observatory offers ‘Mars Mania’
All moved in
Pluses and minuses fill balance sheet of Luckson Hove’s life
Transfer students get early start at building community
Visa problems take toll on international students

By Matt Kelly

Visa difficulties will likely reduce the number of teaching and research assistants working at U.Va. this year.

Several students — particularly from China— have been refused visas because they cannot prove they will return to their homeland after completing their education, according to the researchers who recruited them.

During July, Richard Tanson, an adviser in the International Studies Office, said he started receiving e-mails from students who had been accepted but couldn’t get visas. “This is almost entirely dealing with new students, but there are some continuing students who are affected as well.”

Tanson estimated 10 to 20 graduate students had been denied visas this year. About 950 of the 1,510 international students at U.Va. are graduate students. “It’s definitely up this year,” he said.

This situation has extensive implications for higher education, according to economics professor Bruce Reynolds.

“I think this is an issue for all of academia,” he said. “And I think all of academia is just starting to get a hold of it and saying ‘We’re shooting ourselves in the foot.’”
To qualify for visas, students have to prove they can support themselves in the U.S. and that they will return to their country of origin when their studies are completed.

“The idea of the program is for these students to take advantage of the American education system and then take this knowledge back to their country, not to be trained to join the U.S. workforce,” said Christopher Bentley, spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the division of the Office of Homeland Security.

Garrison Courtney, another bureau spokesman, said there are many factors in visa rejection and suggested that more Chinese students are being turned down because more are applying.

“They have to prove without a doubt that they will not be a charge to the United States,” he said. “Do they have family or other ties in China? There are so many things to look at.”


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