Govt Rescinds Controversial Directive to Strip Visas from International Students Who Go Online Only

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

Upcoming Hearings & Markups. The House Education and Labor Committee will hold a hearing on How to Overcome Obstacles to Safely Reopen Public Schools on Wednesday, July 23 at 10:15 a.m.

Administration Changes Plan for International Students and Online Classes. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security rescinded its July 6 policy directive that would have denied U.S. visas to international postsecondary students if their coursework is entirely online, leading to their deportation. NEBHE had joined a chorus of protest that the directive would have hurt students and families who are wary or physically congregating during the coronavirus pandemic, struck a blow against virtual learning just when students and faculty are beginning to explore such cost-effective remote learning innovations, and damaged America’s—and New England’s—workforce competitiveness. The government withdrew its directive in response to a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT, reverting to guidance it issued in March that allows international students to remain in the U.S. while taking a fully online course load. Read more here at Inside Higher Ed.

House Holds Education Appropriations Markup. The House Appropriations Committee held a markup of the fiscal 2021 education spending bill and voted to approve the legislation. The bill would provide a total of $73.5 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Education Department, an increase of $716 million above the fiscal 2020 enacted level. A summary of the bill can be found here. The bill was ultimately approved by a vote of 30 to 22. The House is expected to pass the measure on the floor before the August recess.

The CDC Delays Release of Additional School Opening Guidance. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is delaying the release of new reference documents on safely reopening schools. The CDC was expected to release the information last week after President Trump criticized the agency’s current guidance, Mother Jones reports. CNN reports that the agency said the new guidance is not ready but could be expected by the end of the month.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week Congress is in session featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of July 20, 2020. For more information, please visit:

Photo courtesy of Bethany Legg and Unsplash.


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