Harvard among academics concerned over international no-study rule



Institutions pledge to support thousands of students affected by announcement: Harvard University issued a statement explaining that it was “deeply concerned” that the guidelines required a “straightforward and consistent approach to ‘a complex problem’.

“[It gives] international students, especially those in online programs, have few options beyond leaving the country or transferring schools, ”the statement continued.

Harvard – which plans to teach all of its undergraduate programs virtually in September even if students reside on campus – wrote that the guidelines “undermine the thoughtful approach taken on behalf of students by so many institutions, including Harvard. , to plan for the continuation of university programs while balancing the challenges of the global pandemic ”.

The Ivy League institution has said it will work closely with other institutions to chart the way forward. “We need to do everything we can to ensure that our students can continue their education without fear of being forced to leave the country mid-year.”

“We must do everything possible so that our students can continue their studies without fear of being forced to leave”

New York University President Andrew Hamilton said that while the new regulations may not affect many of its international students thanks to the university’s planned hybrid program for the fall, it ” will disturb some who will now be forced to rethink their fall schedules to ensure they include live lessons ”.

“To require international students to maintain in-person education or to leave the country, regardless of their own health issues or even a government-mandated New York City shutdown, is just plain wrong and needlessly rigid,” Hamilton said in a statement.

“If there was a time for flexibility in delivering education, this would be it. “

Alliance of Presidents for Higher Education and Immigration executive director Miriam Feldblum said the guidelines only serve to undermine the educational attainment of international students and undermine the country’s ability to attract and retain global talent.

She said the rule would put undue pressure on institutions already experiencing budget strains and uncertainty to “open in-person classes prematurely, otherwise they risk losing invaluable enrollment and student contributions.”

“We call on ICE to reverse the trend and provide more flexibility; and for Congress, through appropriations or future legislation, to guide the reversal of this problematic and nefarious policy, ”Feldblum added.

For schools offering a hybrid model, international students will be able to take more than one course or three credits online, but institutions will need to certify that the program is not entirely online and that the student is following the ‘minimum number of online courses’ required to make normal progress in their study program.

In a recent letter to the Departments of State and Homeland Security, the American Council on Education and 38 other associations called for continued flexibility on guidelines issued regarding international students.

“We respectfully request DHS to extend and / or extend previous guidelines to continue to provide regulatory flexibility to international students enrolled in our higher education institutions during the upcoming 2020-21 academic year and to participate in courses through various alternatives inside or outside the United States, ”read the letter signed by ACE President Ted Mitchell.

But Mitchell wrote that this latest directive “takes the opposite tack”, calling the decision “horrible.”

“While we would like more clarity on international students studying in the United States, these guidelines raise more questions than they answer and unfortunately do more harm than good,” Mitchell said in a statement. .

“At a time when institutions are doing all they can to help reopen our country, we need flexibility, not a big step in the wrong direction.

“We urge the administration to rethink its position and to offer international students and institutions the flexibility necessary to implement a new normal,” he concluded.

“This decision will likely cause even more students to delay the start of their studies”

Talk to The news of the PIE, Jason E. Lane, dean of the School of Education at the University of Albany, described it as a shocking announcement – especially since international students already face significant hurdles such as theft limited and closed embassies.

“Now they have to worry that if they can’t take classes on campus or if their college or university reverts to fully distance learning due to a peak in the pandemic, they will be forced to leave the country, ”he said.

“This move will likely cause even more students to delay the start of their studies or to seek study in a country with more friendly policies towards international students.”

Lane explained that universities will need to prioritize international students for courses with at least some face-to-face interactions if they wish to have international students in their student body in the new academic year.

The United States urges all members to write to those in political power to change the guidelines.

Educators have also taken to social media to express their views on the new guidelines, with some calling it an attempt by the Trump administration to force universities to reopen more widely in the fall.

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the director of International Student & Scholar Services, Kenneth J. Reade, expressed his disappointment at what he described as “a poorly drafted federal public policy on immigration that was considered to be poorly written. unsatisfactory way, ”and called on international students not to make decisions based on the guidelines.

“The SEVP announcement is very subject to change”

“SEVP’s announcement is very subject to change and it is expected that additional guidelines or changes will come in the days and weeks to come,” he explained.

“UMass will do absolutely everything in its power to continue to make our Amherst and Mount Ida campuses a safe place for you to continue your education… we appreciate your presence and your contributions… [and] we will go through these complicated times supporting each other and working together, ”added Reade.

Approximately one million international students attend US colleges and universities each year, generating an estimated economic impact of $ 41 billion and supporting more than 450,000 jobs.


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