The following alerts are based on ISA's direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, and expert consultation.
September 24th, 2018
On September 24th, the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) launched a 36 hour strike to protest President Mauricio Macri's economic policies. The strike began at noon today and will continue until midnight on September 26th. Various sectors, including but not limited to, unions from aviation, public transportation, banking, and education, will participate in the strike. Demonstrations are expected throughout the country, with the largest planned for the capital Buenos Aires. Disruptions, including the suspension of public transportation, roadblocks, and the closure of banks, shops, and schools on September 25th are also expected.
All classes at the Universidad de Belgrano have been cancelled for Tuesday, September 25th. ISA Buenos Aires staff have notified all ISA students attending the Universidad de Belgrano about the suspended classes. The students have been reminded to avoid any protests or demonstrations, and have been notified of areas where demonstrations are expected to occur. Students have also been advised to remain close to their homestays, exercise increased caution, and maintain awareness of their surroundings at this time. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly. Students should continue to check their email for updates from ISA and their professors.
August 6th, 2018
Nelson Mandela University (NMU) suspended all activities today in response to non-violent student protests following an alleged sexual assault on campus. In a statement released by the university, NMU management is seeking to actively engage protesting students on issues related to gender-based violence and work with students and staff alike towards a zero-tolerance culture on campus.
ISA Port Elizabeth resident staff promptly notified ISA students attending NMU of the suspended activities and confirmed that ISA students were not on campus when the protests occurred. The students have been reminded to avoid any protests or demonstrations on campus. While classes and activities are cancelled for the day, professors are expected to communicate directly with students regarding any missed materials. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly. Students should continue to check their email for updates from ISA and their professors.
The University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape were unaffected by the protests.
Valparaiso and Viña del Mar
July 17th, 2018
The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) has reached an agreement with its student body, resulting in the discontinuation of the student strike. PUCV students belonging to all departments, with the exception of Mechanical Engineering and Philosophy, are attending their classes regularly and working to complete their spring semester. All ISA spring students enrolled in courses with locals were able to complete these courses before their program ended on July 7th.
The PUCV is making adjustments to their academic calendar and anticipates that courses with locals for the fall semester will begin in mid-August ISA fall students planning to take courses with locals have been advised that these courses could be impacted or delayed as result of the strike. At this time, ISA is optimistic that students will be able to enroll in and complete these courses as planned. As a reminder, all courses offered through the PUCV's Program for International Students and the Universidad Adolfo Ibanez have been unaffected and have continued as normal. ISA staff will continue to monitor the student movement and provide guidance to students during the onsite orientation and course registration process.
June 8th, 2018
Chilean students at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) remain on strike. ISA spring program dates have not been modified as a result of the strike, and we expect that all spring students will be able to successfully complete their programs as scheduled. PUCV administration has advised professors to work independently with international students in their courses with locals to allow them to complete any remaining coursework before their scheduled program end date.
ISA summer programs at the PUCV and semester programs at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez continue to be unaffected by the student movement. ISA staff will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations to current and future ISA Chile students as needed.
May 17th, 2018
The Confederation of Chilean Students (CONFECH) is pursuing sanctions and increased prevention protocol for sexual harassment, assault, and gender-based discrimination at the university level, and in support of its position, has called for an indefinite nationwide strike by university students. Students attending universities that fall under the Consejo de Rectores of Chilean Universities, which includes the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), will vote either in favor or against a student strike on their own campus. As of May 17th, students at the PUCV voted to join the proposed strike.
At this time, all courses offered to ISA students through PUCV's Program for International Students are scheduled to be held as usual and the university does not expect these classes to be interrupted. Courses offered with local Chilean students have been discontinued as a result of the strike. Students directly affected are working with their respective professors to receive instructions on how to complete necessary coursework. At this time, the academic calendar has not been changed, and students are expected to complete all coursework prior to the scheduled end of their program. The Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez is not a member of the Consejo de Rectores of Chilean Universities and thus, remains unaffected by the student movement.
The PUCV and ISA staff have been in close communication with students to inform them of any developments regarding the student movement, including course changes and suspensions. Yesterday, demonstrations associated with the movement took place, with the largest occurring in Santiago. ISA has reminded students to avoid any demonstrations and will make them aware of any planned protests in Valparaiso. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations to students accordingly.
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