Education sector has been one of the biggest victims due to the pandemic. Many students have been unable to attend classes for much of the year which has impacted their academic career.
Higher education was able to rebound with the help of video-conferencing technologies and switch to online methods. Even some of the most prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in UK and Harvard in USA have closed campus till next year and switched to online classes.
The United States has imposed regressive policies and restrictions on students taking online classes. In the latest directive, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ruled at students who classes switch completely online in the fall season must head home. However, there are exceptions for students who attend in-person classes.
The move could affect one million students and cost $40 billion to the US economy. Yet, the Trump administration has been target students on F-1 visas claiming they attend vocational courses only. This has placed another burden on foreign students as they may have to switch institutes to ones following a hybrid model, which includes online and in-person class.
Students who are unable to switch may have to face another burden of heading home at a time when travel has been restricted due to the pandemic. These students come from all across the world with the aimsof pursuing higher education in the US. Many of them may be forced to abandon their studies during these stressful times.
The Trump administration has been imposing restrictive policies under the cover of the pandemic. The US has already suspended green card residencies and restricted skilled workers and their spouses from entering the country. These anti-immigration policies have defined the Trump presidency and have been tightened as he seeks a second term.
Millions of students aspire to pursue higher education in the USA and chase the ‘American Dream.’ The educational system is still renowned for its innovation and universities are some of the most prestigious in the world. Such restrictive policies will hamper progress, innovation and even the image of the USA.