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News Releases

REF NO.: 8

SUBJECT: Students displaced by Katrina welcome at Memorial
DATE: Sept. 8, 2005

Memorial University President Axel Meisen says the university welcomes inquiries from students whose plans to attend university this fall were disrupted by the tragic consequences of Hurricane Katrina. The Association of American Universities has reported that up to 100,000 students have been displaced from 30 or more Louisiana and Mississippi universities and colleges, many of which have been closed indefinitely because of flood damage.

“The devastation in the southern U.S. states is tragic and in times of tragedy we instinctively want to respond. So here at Memorial University of Newfoundland we are considering ways in which we can help,” Dr. Meisen said. “One such way that we see is to invite displaced students, especially those from Canada or outside the U.S. whose intended university is closed, to come to Newfoundland and Labrador to study. At our various campuses we have capacity to accept students into many programs and we will be as flexible and accommodating as possible in trying to assist students to enrol here as visiting students.”

Sheila Devine, director of Student Recruitment, says the recruitment office empathizes with the students who find their academic careers interrupted by this horrific event. Because individuals' situations and needs will be varied, she encourages students to contact MemorialUniversitydirectly, adding that the university is ready to handle any inquiries from those affected by Katrina in a timely and flexible fashion.

Recognizing the catastrophic damage in the Louisianaand Mississippiareas, University Registrar Glenn Collins indicated that while Wednesday, Sept. 7, marked the official start of classes, Memorial University will do everything it can to accommodate students interested in attending this fall. Mr. Collins emphasized that all applications will be reviewed individually and promptly by admissions staff in collaboration with the appropriate faculties and schools. Memorial's International Student Advising Office says they're standing by to help with immigration advice, health insurance coverage, and settling into the campus community.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada is working with the Government of Canada to coordinate Canadian universities' response to Katrina and is determining how many of its 92 member institutions are in a position to extend support to students or institutions, either for academic support, accommodation, other support, or in-kind assistance. The U.S.government is reported to be making arrangements to make it easier for students with federal student aid to move to other institutions for a short period, and the Canadian government is planning to take steps to facilitate the process of entering Canadafor such students. Typically, in order to study in Canada, U.S.and other international students must obtain the appropriate study permits from Canadian immigration authorities (visit Citizen and Immigration Canada at www.cic.gc.ca for more details).

Inquiries should be directed to Memorial University's assistant registrar - admissions manager, Maria Murray at 709-737-3705 or mmurray@mun.ca. For general information about Memorial, visit www.mun.ca.

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