In a stunning policy reversal, on Tuesday the Trump administration abandoned an attempt to force out tens of thousands of foreign students after widespread condemnation of the move and pressure from colleges and major companies. US officials reported last week that if they were unable to switch to a college with in-person training, foreign students at schools that had switched to online-only classes because of the coronavirus pandemic would have to leave the country.
There are more than one million foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities, and many schools rely on foreign student income, which also covers full tuition. The announcement blinds many universities and colleges still making plans for the fall semester, seeking to balance concerns over rising cases of the novel coronavirus in many U.S. states and the desire to return to classes.
The ICE guidance for July 6 said international students could stay if their programs were in-person or offered a combination of online and on-campus teaching, but a lot of universities had not yet agreed on fall plans. Harvard has decided to offer all of its classes online for the academic year ahead. President Donald Trump, who is urging schools around the country to reopen in the fall, said he believed Harvard ‘s decision not to offer classes in person was ludicrous.