Should I leave the country

Anyone who is taught online should leave the country : US universities are suing the threat of expulsion of foreign students

The US elite universities Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are taking legal action against the threat of expulsion of foreign students who can only take online courses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two universities filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Homeland Security and the ICE immigration authority on Wednesday. They demand that the rule change on international students be declared invalid.

The immigration authorities said on Monday that foreign students with an F1 or M1 visa are not allowed to stay in the US if they only take online courses from their universities from the fall. They would have to leave the country or move to a university where classroom teaching takes place. Otherwise, the students are threatened with deportation proceedings.

Since many universities, including Harvard University, are planning to continue to suspend classroom teaching and give virtual teaching due to the ongoing corona pandemic, the universities are at risk of enormous financial losses. Around 5.5 percent of students in the US come from abroad.

The tuition fees they pay make up an important part of the revenue at many universities in the country: In 2018, foreign students contributed around $ 44.7 billion to the US economy, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).

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Harvard and MIT therefore filed a lawsuit in federal court in the east coast state of Massachusetts, where the two universities are located. They argue, among other things, that there is no reasonable basis for the rule change.

The decision is a serious interference in the life of the student

"We will vigorously pursue this case so that our foreign students, and foreign students in institutions across the country, can continue their studies without the threat of deportation," said Harvard President Lawrence Bacow.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif criticized the immigration authorities 'decision as seriously encroaching on students' lives and threatening their academic careers. The immigration authorities are also not in a position to provide basic answers for the interpretation and enforcement of the new rules. (AFP)

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