Recognizing that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is severely limiting the capacities of doctoral students to continue their research and that the job market is essentially non-existent in the coming year, the UC Graduate Division and Graduate Council have approved a blanket one-semester increase in normative time for doctoral students.
 
This change, however, would mean nothing for most international doctoral students without a correlative non-residential supplemental tuition (NRST) waiver and for those graduate students on quarter campuses who are prevented from teaching for more than 18 quarters and those on semester campuses limited to 12 semesters of teaching.


NRST: The NRST for UC international doctoral students amounts to upwards of 15,000 USD a year, a sum that very few students could pay out of their pockets. Many funding packages and scholarships specify the number of years they will pay or waive the NRST for international doctoral students. An extension in normative time without an NRST waiver means that the international doctoral students, most of whom cannot afford to pay their NRST out of their own pockets, could not make use of that extension. Given that our international doctoral students--with their increasingly precarious immigration status and mounting financial challenges--are one of the most affected groups by this pandemic, they will be one of the groups that need this extension the most. A policy change disregarding the true needs of intentional students and thus excluding them from really enjoying the benefits of the policy is ineffective and inequitable.
 
Six-year (18 quarter; 12 semester) teaching limit: At UC, most TAs are subject to a teaching limit of 6 academic years. This limits the amount of time that ASEs are eligible to teach and work and progress toward their degrees at the University. Given the COVID-19 crisis, it's untenable for ASEs to proceed to progress on their degrees as previously planned, as the University has recognized. As such, the University must increase graduate workers' capacity to stay at UC and complete their degrees. 
 
 
We, the undersigned, demand Janet Napolitano, the president of UC, to do the following: 
 
  • Make the extension an actual option open to international doctoral students by extending the 3-year NRST waiver by one term for all post-ABD doctoral students and offering a one-term blanket NRST waiver for all pre-ABD doctoral students.

  • The University must lift the 6-year teaching limit and meet with the Union over these changes as soon as possible.

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* 6. I'm an international student affected by the NRST-waiver issues described above

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