Once Education Abroad is made aware of the nature, urgency, scope and extent of a significant incident - the type of responses required and the methods to execute the actions will be determined. Typically, this is the role of the Situation Response Team (SRT) acting through a Single Point Contact (SPC). Should the significant incident require additional resources, a crisis management team may also be initiated.
Proactive Risk assessment prior to departure
Global Engagement is currently providing detailed Situational Risk Analyses for Student International Travel and producing Travel Advisory Summaries and recommendations for countries with an elevated advisory profile. The summaries are derived from extensive and exhaustive research and consultation. This information is assessed and consolidated into a single page format with a standard layout and document control.
To review the initial findings from the risk assessment, senior faculty from the school or college involved plus senior personnel from GE and EA, plus the EA program advisor meet to conduct a review. After rigorous discussion and analysis, a consensus is reached which is then communicated initially to any other interested parties through the summary. The recipients of the summary can raise questions about the advisory through the EA program advisor and a meeting can also be requested to review the rationale behind the recommendations jointly.
Comprehensive Situational Risk Analyses relies on consultation with different types of sources, including but not limited to: Local, national, international media in local languages and English (print, TV, social), US Embassy, State Department Advisories; UK, Canada and Australia Embassy Advisories, Local Government, Transport monitoring sites (CCTV live and time lapse streams in country), local contacts in country, organizations that produce indices of various types of indices including BTI, UN, OECD amongst many others. Experience with the local culture and the political situation is also useful.
GE are continually monitoring, reviewing, assessing, communicating and making recommendations for countries where programs are scheduled and where programs may occur in the future.
Response to events in a foreign location
Should significant incidents or events transpire in locations where TAMU already has an active program, GE and EA are responding to those situations also. Student locations can be tracked in the VIA Travel platform and immediate contact can be initiated through Safecheck. Safecheck sends a SMS to all members who are travelling on the program. This enables single button confirmation for the students to confirm they are ‘well’, provided they are enrolled in this feature.
Awareness and Impact
We want to know about all incidents or events (where TAMU participants are involved) which can cause injury, illness, damage to assets, financial loss, damage to the environment or public alarm and other events which require remedial and corrective action or have the potential for learning. Being made aware of significant incidents which impact, or could impact, our stakeholders is important to enable us to:
- Establish early and effective communication to gain understanding of the actual scope and scale of the incident and the situation;
- Ensure medical aid is provided to those who require it;
- As required and feasible, take immediate action at the incident site to safeguard the health and safety of people (our students, staff, partners and the public);
- To protect the environment, to minimize damage to facilities and equipment and to engage resources locally (and within the University) to play a role to establish control at the site;
- Determine whether the event warrants further escalation.