Stanford terminated residential agreements with eight students from the “Studying Away at Home” program at the Montag Center for Overseas Studies in Oxford University. University spokesperson E.J. Miranda, responding on behalf of the Bing Overseas Study Program, said the agreement was terminated because the students did not comply with the program’s ground rules and participation agreement in a statement to The Daily.
University spokespeople declined to comment on details, including the date the agreement was terminated, specific behavior that led to eviction and the process of the termination of residential agreements. They did not answer questions asking if “Studying Away at Home” programs were taking place at Stanford facilities in other countries. Citing an unnamed source, campus newsletter The Fountain Hopper, which first reported on the incident, wrote that the students were ousted for not following COVID-19 protocols.
The optional residential program is unlike traditional study abroad programs and is limited to students who are UK nationals or permanent residents. Originally, 25 students participated, engaging in a combination of online Stanford courses and an optional Oxford tutorial while residing at Stanford facilities at Oxford. These students were permitted to virtually engage with academic and social life at Oxford.
According to Miranda, participants had been informed of program requirements in advance and were required to sign both a participation agreement and a document containing ground rules.
Students’ emergency contacts were required to sign the latter document as well. Through the application process, pre-departure process and on-site orientation, “students were well informed of expectations and consequences” of non-compliance, Miranda wrote. He added that participants received frequent communication from on-site staff about program requirements.
Several students at the Oxford program did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Students whose residence agreements were terminated have either returned home to their families or rented housing near Oxford, according to Miranda.
Termination of the residential agreement did not entail complete disaffiliation from the program.
“BOSP will continue to support the students through the completion of their Oxford tutorials and involvement in other academic commitments,” Miranda wrote.
While the winter 2020-2021 BOSP study away programming was canceled, the University plans to resume programming during the upcoming spring quarter with reduced capacity and adherence to social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.