Arlington, VA (April 22, 2021) – Over 10,000 Burmese students are studying abroad, according to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Today, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the International Association for College Admission Counseling (International ACAC) called on their institutional partners to be receptive to the needs of students from Myanmar who are both currently residing outside of their home country or seeking to study abroad due to the military coup on Feb. 1.
The turmoil in Myanmar is creating a humanitarian crisis, leaving these students and affected members of our counseling community physically unsafe and without access to basic resources for survival. These communities may also be struggling to obtain official records to seek opportunities elsewhere. Current students, staff, and faculty studying abroad may not be able to return home due to the unrest or may not have access to previous resources (financial or familial) because of the coup. Due to this situation, we are asking our colleagues to be flexible where they can with these vulnerable populations and provide resources when and if available. We make specific recommendations toward this end below for our members’ consideration.
NACAC and International ACAC encourage current and future host institutions of Burmese students to consider these possible ways to provide support and comfort:
- Advocate internally to create safe spaces by making campus resources available to impacted students, including emotional counseling, legal and/or immigration advising, food, housing, or tuition assistance.
- Educate fellow faculty/administrators on the need for flexibility in obtaining documents or extending deadlines for coursework (including because these students face regular internet outages).
- Encourage admission staff to provide flexibility on receipt of documents used for admission and enrollment purposes. For example: allow documents to come in various formats, extend deadlines, and offer fee waivers.
- Release a statement to current and newly admitted students from Myanmar communicating awareness of the situation and available supports, resources, and accommodations.
The admission and counseling communities extend our support to our students, counselors, colleagues, and their families during this transition and hope our educational partners will do the same.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 23,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.
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