|Task Group 3
Task Group Three International Students and Scholars Task: To investigate systematically the experience of foreign students and scholars in order to ease their entry in the Academical Village and to facilitate their academic and professional goals. The task group met on April 29 to review our goals for the coming year.
The Task Group met Monday September 13.
This past spring the group discussed a number of minor fixes: making it easier for foreign students to to access information. We found, for example, that on information on Admissions web pages was often deeply buried. We have been in contact with people about bringing some of this material forward. We also are in contact with people involved in orientation, ESL training and the like. We feel that it will be important to continue to monitor the numerous small problems that make like difficult for international students and scholars and also for the schools and departments who wish to invite them. One minor issue we feel we should discuss is that of the level of English proficiency we require of our students. We presently use a 600 on the written
TOEFL exam as a minimum score. We found that we do not know whether or not this is unusually high. We will look into it.
We spent much of our time discussing the Duke report. We came out of this discussion with two goals:
1. International Visitors and Scholarly Exchanges. We have agreed that the group should look into the ways that we could build on and expand the present occasional conferences and short courses taught at UVa. David Martin noted the great value the Law School has gotten from a number of regular visitors. We feel that there should be centralized institutional support for departments and schools who hope to establish short and (especially) longer term connections with scholars who would be willing to teach and consult at UVa. We would hope that a central planning authority could help create series of lectures and short conferences designed to educate the members of our community and to raise the international visibility of the University. Some departments have already connected visitors to lecture series and to publishing ventures with the press.
2. Gateways: The initial idea of gateways was to expand knowledge of the commission and it projects. We agreed that it is essential that this task group establish some connection with international students. We felt, however, that at this time it may be even more important to make connections with the various schools if we hope to create a centralized initiative for Exchanges.