(Image source from: Arabnews.com)
Earlier Trump had said that all foreign students whose classes have turned online must depart the country.
New international college students or foreign students who are yet to get admission into first year would not be allowed to US this fall, if their courses are already online.
The announcement was issued by the President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday.
Students from foreign countries who have already enrolled for spring classes and have student visas can remain in the country or come back after vacation even if their university offers digital classes only.
President Donald Trump has suspended several kinds of visas for foreigners during coronavirus crisis. The policy change was announced by the Immigration and Customs enforcement.
The earlier policy of deportation of foreign students to their own countries was severely criticized and the policy was taken to court by top universities including MIT and Harvard.
That policy was seen by Trump to put pressure on educational institutions that were adopting a cautious approach to reopen the institutions.
Trump is also eager for schools at all levels to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a sign of return to normality as has his elections scheduled in November.
ICE has allowed the foreign students to stay in the country when the classes went online in March. Yet, it has discussed with universities as to what to do with the students as the colleges are again going online as the pandemic still persists.
The guidance issued on Friday made it clear that new International students looking to study in America will have to enroll in a college that has at least some in person classes though their veteran peers can take only online classes.
ICE had also clarified that new enrollments in the colleges by foreign students would only be permitted in the case the university applied by the student has a mixture of both online and offline courses. They can stay in the country even if the university turns the study mode completely online in the middle of the semester.
This new policy is also likely to cause uproar from the universities. International students are often considered by US universities to encourage cultural diversity and also international students pay full tuition fee.
However, due to the continued spread of coronavirus in the US, many institutions have opted for complete digital mode of study. We have to wait and see what this decision by Trump government would create in the coming days across Universities. Will it be widely accepted or would it be disagreed by Universities’ authorities?
By Gayatri Yellayi