Harvard, MIT Sue Trump Govt Over Order Revoking Visas For Foreign Students

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 22, 2020, general view of Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. – US President Donald Trump lashed out at Harvard University on July 7, 2020, calling its decision to move all its courses online in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic “ridiculous.” Maddie Meyer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP.

 

Harvard and MIT asked a court Wednesday to block an order by President Donald Trump’s administration threatening the visas of foreign students whose entire courses have moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The universities’ lawsuit was in response to an announcement Monday by the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) that the affected students must leave the country or transfer to a school offering in-person tuition.

“We will pursue this case vigorously so that our international students, and international students at institutions across the country, can continue their studies without the threat of deportation,” Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said in a statement.

ICE said in its announcement the State Department would not issue visas to students enrolled in programs that are fully online for the fall semester and such students would not be allowed to enter the country.

Universities with a hybrid system of in-person and online classes will have to show that foreign students are taking as many in-person classes as possible, to maintain their status.

The measure was seen as a move by the White House to put pressure on educational institutions that are adopting a cautious approach to reopening amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The order came down without notice — its cruelty surpassed only by its recklessness,” Bacow said.

“It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors and others,” he added.

The universities say in their lawsuit that the order would harm students “immensely,” both personally and financially.

It describes the order as “arbitrary and capricious.”

The plaintiffs ask that the court issue a temporary restraining order and “permanent injunctive relief” preventing the policy being enforced.

They also ask that the order be declared unlawful, that their fees are covered, and that they receive any other relief that the court deems appropriate.

The lawsuit, filed in a Massachusetts district court, lists the defendants as ICE and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Most US colleges and universities have not yet announced their plans for the fall semester but Harvard University has said all its classes for the 2020-21 academic year will be conducted online “with rare exceptions.”

It says packed classrooms would endanger the health of students and teachers.

Trump has branded the decision “ridiculous.”

AFP

 

Coronavirus Forces Top US Universities To Move Classes Online

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 30, 2018 a Harvard University building is viewed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Scott EISEN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Major American universities — including Harvard, Princeton and Columbia — have been forced to cancel classes because of the coronavirus and move lessons online, affecting tens of thousands of students.

The US government has refrained from imposing an official ban so the often privately run institutions are each grappling with how best to deal with the fast-moving outbreak.

Ahead of the start of spring break at the end of this week, Harvard on Tuesday announced it would transition to having all classes online by Monday 23 March.

The university, located in Cambridge, Massachusets, asked its 36,000 graduate and undergraduate students not to return to campus after the spring recess and to continue studying remotely “until further notice.”

“The goal of these changes is to minimize the need to gather in large groups,” Harvard president Lawrence Bacow said in a statement posted on the university’s website.

Without going quite so far, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), also based in Cambridge, canceled all gatherings likely to attract at least 150 people until May 15.

Classes with 150 or more students will move online, starting this week, it added.

In New York, Columbia, New York University and Fordham  have all announced that they are switching to remote learning.

Princeton University in New Jersey said it would move all lectures and seminars online from March 23 to at least April 5, as it cancelled events of more than 100 people.

On the other side of the country, in California, at least five universities, including Berkeley and Stanford, have suspended all or most of their in-person classes.

A spokesperson for the American Council of Education (ACE) said it was “impossible to say” how many schools and students had been affected because “the situation changes all the time.”

ACE president Ted Mitchell told the Los Angeles Times  the coronavirus was “probably the greatest short-term challenge facing higher education in a generation.”

AFP

Scholarship to Harvard is open to all Nigerians – 7up Director

The Executive Director, Human Resources of the 7up Bottling Company, Femi Mokikan on Saturday said that the company’s annual scholarship, which sponsors a qualified student to the Harvard Business School in the United States of America, is open to all Nigerian students.

Mr Mokikan, who along with the recipients of the 7up scholarship award for 2011 and 2012, was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme, said though previous winners of the award have been Nigerian students who had studied abroad, the award is open to local students too.

In the video below, the 7up Director explains why the company preferred the Harvard Business School for its scholarship programme and how the beneficiary of the scheme is selected.