“It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors, and others” amid the coronavirus pandemic, Harvard President
Harvard is seeking a temporary restraining order against the new guidelines. Presiding over the case is U.S. District Judge
Colleges have begun rolling out pandemic plans for the fall semester, with many offering some form of limited in-person classes. Harvard said about 40% of students would return to its campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while all courses will be taught remotely.
As it is, universities that rely heavily on international students, who typically pay full price, are uncertain how many undergraduates will come if their college experience is altered by coronavirus testing, masks and limited social interaction. About 1.1 million international students were studying at U.S. colleges in the 2018-19 school year, according to the most recent data from the
Since the visas are for study in the U.S., an exclusively online education defeats the purpose, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security
In the wide-ranging interview, Wolf also said Chinese espionage and theft of intellectual property included sending researchers to the U.S. to spy and report back to Beijing.
“China is really playing that long game, and we’ve got to be very, very concerned about that, whether they’re using our immigration system and our visa system, whether they’re coming over as researchers, as students and then they’re sending that information back,” he said.
Colleges denounced the guidance.
“It makes no sense whatsoever to have international students penalized because institutions have made the best possible decisions regarding the health and safety of their campuses in a pandemic,” Martin said in a statement. “The inability to predict the course of the pandemic also means that colleges and universities across the country may have to move all classes online at some point.”
The new rule “forces colleges and universities nationwide into a state of disarray” and will “remove the tuition dollars that are needed to ensure that students will be returning to safe facilities when they do reopen,” said Calcaterra, founding partner of Calcaterra Pollack LLP, which isn’t involved in the litigation.
The directive undermines decades of collaboration between the U.S. and other countries, especially in fields that bolster the country’s economy, University of California President
The case is President and Fellows of Harvard College v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 20-cv-11283, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.
(Updates with Wolf interview and statements from Amherst and Calcaterra)
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