The United States announced that it will not allow students to remain in the country if all the classes are moved online due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the key takeaways from this announcement -
International students will have to leave the USA if all the classes are moved online or transfer to a university offering in-person classes.
International students will have to take at least some classes in-person.
New visas will not be issued to students enrolled in universities that are offering all their classes online.
Students enrolled in colleges offering a mix of in-person and online classes will be barred from attending all their classes online.
Students won’t be exempt from the rules even if an outbreak forces the schools/universities to switch to online teaching during the fall term.
What will be the impact of this announcement?
This announcement is sure to create a lot of confusion among the international student body. There are several US universities that are yet to announce their Fall 2020 plans for the classes. This announcement will either force them or provide an incentive to reopen for in-person classes while also maintaining a safe and secure environment for the students.
Some universities like Havard and the University of Southern California had previously announced that classes will be hosted primarily or exclusively online.
However, there is a strong backlash to the announcement by the American Council on Education, who termed the new guidelines as “horrifying”. Even the international student group NAFSA criticized the move and said the guideline “is harmful to international students and puts their health and well-being and that of the entire higher education community at risk”.
The international student community will have to wait and watch how the situation unfolds.