Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for International Students and Institutions (Bill of Rights)


Preamble

In response to a growing need for policy guidance on issues related to the delivery of programs and services to international students, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), with guidance from members of the international education community, has developed this Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for International Students and Institutions (Bill of Rights). As signatories to the Bill of Rights, we reserve the right to display the official logo signifying our support of the principles and practices articulated herein.

Definitions

An international student is defined as any person engaging in learning outside of his or her country of citizenship.

An institution is defined as any institution or entity providing information, facilitating the enrollment of or providing learning opportunities to international students or scholars.

The international community is defined as a complex system of educational entities, government agencies, private organizations, regulatory bodies and individuals delivering education programs and services.


ARTICLE I: INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS of the International Student

Section 1
International students have the right to know who the provider of educational services is and all of the provider’s affiliations.

Section 2
International students have the right to a clear explanation from the institution to which they are applying of the admissions process and documentation necessary to complete their admissions dossiers.

Section 3
International students have the right to a clear and complete explanation and description of the academic course offerings and the approximate time normally required to complete an intended program from the institution to which they are applying.

Section 4
International students have the right to receive a clear and accurate account of all costs for the academic year or a reasonable estimation of the full cost of their educational program. This should be explained in application material sent to them by the institutions to which they are applying. International students also have the right to a clear and detailed explanation of costs for services provided by placement agencies or other third parties assisting them in the admissions process. Such service costs should be readily distinguishable from the standard costs associated with a course of study at the students’ intended institutions.

Section 5
International students have the right to know what personal information is collected about them, why it is being collected and how they may review their files and correct any errors. International students should have assurance that personal information about them may be used only by those persons with a legitimate right to know.

Section 6
International students have the right to have their applications for admission and their prior learning experiences evaluated by admissions officers or credential evaluators trained to evaluate international applications and learning.

Section 7
International students have the right to a clear explanation from their home institution of whether, or the extent to which, course work at their host institution may be transferable to their program of study at their home institution.

Section 8
International students have the right to services and information that support their unique needs as international students, such as counseling on immigration regulations, cultural adjustment, orientation to the host institution, and information on insurance and taxes.

Section 9
International students have the right to have their language abilities assessed to determine if their skills are sufficient to enable them to benefit from the host institution’s academic course offerings.

Section 10
International students have a right to a clear and complete explanation of all legal requirements governing their enrollment, including how to maintain their student status.

Section 11
International students have ownership rights over their intellectual works unless the works are subject to specific published institutional policies to the contrary or ownership rights are relinquished by the students.

ARTICLE II: INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES of the International Student

Section 1
International students shall be honest in their representations to institutions, government entities and others in the international education community. International students shall abide by the host institutions’ honor systems. Fraud or misrepresentation of achievements are valid reason for expulsion from the institution.

Section 2
International students shall recognize, honor and properly attribute the intellectual property of others.

Section 3
International students shall adhere to the laws, rules and regulations of the host nation and institution.

ARTICLE III: RIGHTS of Educational Institutions

Section 1
Educational institutions have the right to establish appropriate admissions criteria and deadlines consistent with their educational programs.

Section 2
Educational institutions have the right to establish appropriate and realistic deadlines for completion of the international student’s program.

Section 3
Educational institutions have the right to deny admission or continuing enrollment if evidence proves fraud or lack of achievement by the international student.

Section 4
Educational institutions have the right to be informed if an international student is being assisted in admission by a placement agency or other third party.

ARTICLE IV: RESPONSIBILITIES of the Educational Institution

Section 1
Educational institutions claiming an affiliation with another institution shall explain to students the nature of their affiliation, particularly as it might relate to the recognition of academic credentials. Similarly, the institution’s official recognition or accreditation shall be disclosed to students.

Section 2
Educational institutions shall provide students with a clear explanation of their admissions process and what documentation is necessary to complete the students’ admissions dossiers.

Section 3
Educational institutions shall provide students with a clear and complete explanation and description of the academic course offerings and the approximate time normally required to complete the intended program.

Section 4
Educational institutions shall provide students and their financial sponsors with accurate information about all reasonable costs for the academic year or an estimation of the full cost of their educational program. This information should appear in literature provided to prospective students with application materials. Placement agencies or other third parties assisting students in the admissions process shall provide students with a clear and detailed explanation of the costs associated with these services. These service costs should be readily distinguishable from the standard costs associated with a course of study at the intended institution.

Section 5
Educational institutions, upon request of the student, shall let the student know what personal information is collected about him or her, why it is being collected and how the student may review the file and correct any errors. Institutions shall treat all files on students as confidential, examining or disclosing the contents only when authorized by the owner of the information, approved by the appropriate institutional official on a need-to-know basis, or as required by law. Institutions shall develop, implement, and maintain security procedures to insure the integrity of their files.

Section 6
Educational institutions shall ensure that students’ applications for admission and their prior learning experiences are evaluated by admissions officers and/or credential evaluators trained to evaluate international applications and learning.

Section 7
Educational institutions considered home institutions shall provide clear explanations as to whether, or the extent to which, students’ course work may be transferable to their programs of study in their home countries.

Section 8
Educational institutions shall provide services and information that support the unique needs of international students, such as immigration regulations, cultural adjustment advising, orientation, insurance, and tax information.

Section 9
Educational institutions shall assess whether international applicants possess sufficient command of the language of the host country to ensure that students will benefit from the academic course offerings. If the institution lacks proficiency programs to remedy an applicant’s language deficiency, it shall not admit the applicant until he or she shows evidence of facility in the host language.

Section 10
Educational institutions shall inform international students and their financial sponsors of all legal requirements governing the students’ enrollment.

December 1996


Permission: Permission is hereby given to make and distribute copies of the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for International Students and Institutions for non-profit purposes on condition that the Bill of Rights or any publication in which it appears is attributed to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. Please forward a copy of the publication in which the Bill of Rights appears to AACRAO, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135.

Information: Questions or comments regarding the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for International Students and Institutions should be addressed to AACRAO at the above address or voice: (202) 293-9161 or Fax: (202) 872-8857.

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