Washington (Agenzia Fides) - Faced with the news that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) announced last Tuesday, July 7, the State Department will most probably not grant visas to foreign students enrolled in institutes or programs that are entirely online.
The American Council on Education, which represents university Deans, said the guidelines are "terrible" and will complicate the way universities and colleges try to reopen safely. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced a court case on Wednesday July 8 to cancel President Donald Trump's government decision to revoke visas for foreign students taking online courses because of the coronavirus.
The US government's decision to withdraw visas "came without warning and its cruelty is second only to its irresponsibility", said Harvard’s Dean.
The problem is very complex. Higher education institutions in the United States were expecting a drop in international enrollments this fall. Now all international students, who typically pay higher tuition fees, a funding source that many universities have relied on, could lose all the students. Nearly 1.1 million international students attended universities in the United States last year.
Another reaction comes from the Jesuits. Marquette University shared its support for international students on Thursday 9, in an email to the students, where it wrote: "Marquette is committed to doing everything possible to support the continuity of the academic experience of our international students on campus. As a Catholic, the Marquette Jesuit institution wants to be an inclusive learning community, proud to educate and employ people with different backgrounds, perspectives and national origins". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 11/7/2020)