Two universities in California have reacted strongly to the new Trump administration visa rules debarring international students in the United States from attending any course that will conduct its fall semester classes fully online.
Such students will not be given visas, and if they are here they have to transfer to a course or university that will conduct. Eligible F-visa holder students may take a maximum of one class or three credit hours online, according to the announcement.
Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California, called the move perplexing, and one that would jeopardize America’s future as world leader.
“The University of California recognizes that our country benefits when the world’s brightest students and academics learn, teach and research on our shores,” Napolitano wrote in reply to an email from indica News.
“International students provide unique contributions that enrich our campuses and their perspectives ensure that we continue to be a leading academic force around the world. Making it more difficult for international students to study here undermines decades of collaboration between the United States and our international partners, particularly in fields that contribute to America’s economic vitality,” she added.
“The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) announcement is perplexing, given that some degree of remote instruction is necessary for colleges and universities to protect the safety and well-being of their communities and the public at large, while still allowing students to continue their studies. Challenges and uncertainty related to COVID-19 are already weighing heavily on students; now is the worst time to burden them further with anxiety,” she wrote.
“UC will assess fully how these changes will affect our campuses and our international students. However, this much is abundantly clear: The Trump administration’s latest actions impacting international students jeopardize our nation’s future as a worldwide leader in research and innovation.”
At the California State University, Toni Molle, director, public affairs, said that the majority of courses would be online, but there would be some in-person instruction.
“We are evaluating how this might impact students as the availability of in-person coursework will vary across programs and campuses,” Molle told indica News.
“International students add to the vibrant diversity of CSU’s 23 campuses,” she said. “The new policy guidance could immediately lead to slowing or even worse, halting of more than 11,300 students’ paths to achieving their higher education goals and potential contributions to our communities and economy. We are currently reviewing the new guidance to determine how to reduce impacts to students and will provide information to campuses and students in the near future.”