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.
Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 at 5:40 p.m. CST
As of the morning of Wednesday April 11th (local time), Tropical Cyclone Keni has tracked south out of Fijian waters after bringing heavy rain, wind and flooding to the western side of the island. Suva, the location of ISA Fiji programs located on the eastern side of the island, received rain and wind but no damage was immediately reported to ISA housing or the University of the South Pacific (USP). As planned, the USP reopened today for classes and the ISA Fiji resident staff have been in contact with students and report that the situation on the ground is calm. ISA will continue to provide students with updates and advise them accordingly.
Monday, April 9th, 2018 at 6:15 p.m. CST
The University of the South Pacific (USP) will be closed on Tuesday, April 10th in anticipation of Tropical Cyclone Keni making landfall Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, April 11th. Upgraded to a Category 3 Tropical Cyclone, Keni is forecast to bring strong winds and heavy rain to many parts of the island, with flooding expected in low lying coastal areas. Suva, where ISA students study, is expected to receive strong winds and heavy rain.
The USP has provided instructions to students to follow during the storm. The ISA Suva resident staff has also been in contact with all ISA Suva students to check on them and provide safety tips. At the time of this report, all students have confirmed with the resident staff that they are present at their university flats. ISA student housing is located away from low lying areas and students have been provided all campus emergency information. ISA is closely monitoring the weather and safety instructions from local officials. ISA will continue to provide students with updates and advise them accordingly.
London and Reading, England; Stirling and Glasgow, Scotland
March 23, 2018
March 19th marked the official last day of the strike by the University and College Union (UCU), which came as UCU attempted to negotiate changes to its members' pension schemes with the Universities UK (UUK). The strike, which did not impact all institutions in the UK, passed peacefully and no unrest was reported on ISA host campuses. Though the strike officially ended, the UCU and the UUK were unable to come to a resolution on the pension matter. Until a resolution is reached, the potential for further disruption of university course schedules still exists and could impact the final exam and assessment periods.
ISA is in communication with all participating universities to confirm contingency plans in the event the examination periods are disrupted. ISA will continue to follow this situation closely and maintain close contact with affected ISA students. We will continue to update this Worldwide Alert as needed.
February 22, 2018
On February 22nd, 2018, lecturer members of the University and College Union (UCU) moved forward with planned strikes in opposition to their employers, Universities UK's (UUK), proposed changes to the pension scheme, (known as the Universities Superannuation Scheme), that affects 68 of the U.K.'s 108 universities. The strikes are scheduled to take place over 14 non-consecutive days between February 22nd and March 16th. Lecturers participating in the strikes, which are expected to remain peaceful, will cancel classes on certain dates, with no current plans in place to make up the missed lectures. Although some classes may be cancelled, universities are expected to remain open on the strike dates, and students will have access to campus facilities such as libraries and computer labs.
ISA England and Scotland resident staff reported that services were operating normally throughout the program cities and ISA host universities remained open today. All students have been advised to continue to go to any classes not cancelled, complete any assignments, and not participate in any demonstrations. The ISA London office remains open to students as a place to study, complete work and gather if and when their classes are cancelled. The ISA England and Scotland staff are in communication with our host universities as we continue to follow the situation closely. We will continue to update students and this WWA accordingly.
Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan
November 28, 2017
On November 29th at approximately 3:30 a.m. (local time), North Korea launched a ballistic missile from Pyongsong in South Pyongan Province. Reports indicate that the missile traveled approximately 960 kilometers and landed in the Sea of Japan, around 250 kilometers off Japan's northern coast. Unlike some past launches, the missile did not pass over Japan and no alerts were issued in the country.
At the time of this report, there have been no changes in the security situation in South Korea or Japan and ISA resident staff report calm in both Seoul and Tokyo. All ISA Seoul and Tokyo programs are continuing to run as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and this Worldwide Alert accordingly.
September 14, 2017
Just after 7:00 a.m. (local time) on September 15th, North Korea launched another projectile that flew over Japan's Hokkaido island before landing approximately 1,200 miles east of the island into the Pacific Ocean. Japan did not attempt to intercept the missile, but did activate it's "J-Alert" system, warning residents to take shelter while the missile passed. Hokkaido is the northern most prefecture in Japan, and its capital city Sapporo is approximately 1100 km from Tokyo. ISA's Tokyo Resident Director reported that the situation in Tokyo remains calm. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students and this Worldwide Alert as necessary.
September 3, 2017
On Sunday, September 3rd at approximately 12:30 p.m., local time, North Korea conducted a hydrogen bomb test at its Punggye-rj underground test site, in the northwest of the country. Seismologists initially detected a tremor with an estimated 6.3 magnitude, which was later determined the result of North Korea's nuclear test. Chinese officials reported a second, weaker, tremor was detected shortly after. The September 3rd test was the sixth such test conducted by North Korea since 2006. The U.S. and South Korea governments were joined by other leaders in the international community, including China and Russia, in condemning North Korea's actions.
ISA Resident staff in Seoul and Tokyo reported that things remained calm in their respective cities and the recent events had no impact on ISA programs. All ISA programs are running uninterrupted. ISA is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will continue to update this Worldwide alert with any significant developments.
October 27, 2017
On Friday, October 27th, Catalonia's regional parliament declared its independence from Spain, despite the federal government declaring Catalonia's October 1st independence referendum illegal. In response, the Spanish parliament in Madrid has approved a measure to revoke the autonomy of Catalonia following Article 155 of the Spanish constitution. Since the October 1st referendum, there have been demonstrations from both sides though they have remained largely peaceful. Large demonstrations are planned in Barcelona this weekend, October 27-29th and both the Catalonian regional government and Spain's federal government are urging citizens to remain calm. ISA resident staff have made students aware of the demonstrations this weekend and reminded students about best practices for staying safe.
ISA host universities in Barcelona have continued classes as normal since the October 3rd observance of a region-wide general strike. ISA Barcelona resident staff are in frequent consultation with host universities and currently, there are no further class cancellations planned. Additionally, ISA resident staff continue to communicate directly with ISA students, providing them with frequent updates regarding the referendum and its impacts. ISA continues to closely monitor the situation and will update the Worldwide Alert page as necessary.
October 4, 2017
On Thursday, October 4, all five ISA Barcelona host universities re-opened and classes resumed after the universities closed on October 3 in observance of the region-wide general strike. Additionally, ISA Barcelona resident staff confirmed that transportation services in the city began operating again on October 4. All students were informed of these updates in advance so they could prepare to return to classes. The ISA Barcelona Office has remained open all week and continued to welcome students, despite the general strike. ISA resident staff further reported that demonstrations on October 3 remained relatively calm. Although workers across various sectors may continue to strike during the coming days, the Barcelona resident staff has reported that many businesses are operating normally throughout the city.
ISA is continuing to monitor the security situation in Barcelona and is following updates on the referendum closely. We will continue to update this Worldwide Alert with any significant developments related to our programs.
October 2, 2017
On October 1, the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain moved forward with its planned independence referendum. The Spanish government, calling the referendum illegal, deployed police to close voting booths around the region, leading to clashes between referendum supporters and police in Barcelona and throughout the region. Injuries have been reported as a result of the clashes. ISA Barcelona resident staff and its U.S.-based Office of Health, Safety and Security has been following the political situation and recent demonstrations closely, and students were advised ahead of the October 1 referendum of places to avoid and safe practices to observe.
ISA Barcelona resident staff reported that today, October 2, services were operating normally throughout the city and ISA host universities and office opened today. A region-wide general strike, however, is being planned for tomorrow, October 3, and is expected to impact various sectors in Barcelona and across the region. The ISA Barcelona resident staff is in communication with our host universities and have confirmed that all five universities will be closed tomorrow. Additionally, transportation strikes on October 3, which are expected to impact both metro and taxi services in the region, have also been confirmed. The ISA Barcelona staff is in communication with students to make them aware of class cancellations and any suspended services throughout the city. The resident staff is continuing to advise students to avoid demonstrations, follow directives provided by local authorities and monitor local news sources for updates. ISA will continue to monitor this situation as it develops and advise students accordingly.
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