At the University of Michigan, we add our voice to the many in higher education to express our strong disagreement with the temporary policy announced July 6 by the Department of Homeland Security to further restrict the educational opportunities for international students.
Based on an initial review by our International Center staff, this guidance does not conflict with the University of Michigan’s plans for fall term classes consisting of a mixture of in-person and remote classes. The guidance allows this type of hybrid model for international students studying on the Ann Arbor campus. It also allows students outside the country to take U-M classes online.
Given the poorly controlled nature of the COVID-19 pandemic in many places across our nation, institutions of higher education need to maintain flexibility in how we choose to safely deliver our curricula. Our international students must not be penalized if our best judgments dictate that we need to return to fully remote instruction.
We continue to oppose arbitrary restrictions on international students who have been and continue to be valuable members of our community of scholars. Even with this initial review that shows a less direct impact on our students, we agree with the statement from the Association of American Universities – of which U-M is a member – that calls this policy “immensely misguided and deeply cruel to the tens of thousands of international students who come to the United States every year.”
The University of Michigan is joining with our AAU colleagues and many others in business and education to further understand the impact of this new guidance and work with congressional leaders and administration officials to rescind or substantially alter this unnecessary and disruptive policy.
Mark S. Schlissel
Susan M. Collins
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Cynthia H. Wilbanks
Vice President for Government Relations