MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota is reviewing its fall semester plans to make sure that international students aren’t forced to leave the country under new guidance from federal immigration authorities.
The guidelines Monday from the U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement say international students must leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools plan to offer classes entirely online this fall. The guidelines are adding new pressure on universities to reopen even as the coronavirus is resurging in many parts of the country.
They also come as President Donald Trump has demanded that schools and colleges reopen and return to in-person instruction.
Minnesota was already planning to offer a mix of online and in-person classes. President Joan Gabel said in a note to students and faculty Tuesday that the school is reviewing its fall semester hybrid instruction so that in-person classes can be offered where needed to make sure international students comply with the new guidance.
International students “should not be penalized” for the public health measures being taken to help control the virus, Gabel wrote.
The university’s Twin Cities campus had about 6,100 international students this spring, or about 12 percent of its more than 49,000 students. A loss of international students would also heighten budget pressure on the university since those students typically pay higher tuition.