Johns Hopkins University has issued a statement regarding their Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) for Fall 2020.
"Universities and their students, particularly those coming from abroad, face a challenge of unprecedented complexity as they determine how to continue the essential work of learning and research this fall," they state in the letter. "Higher educational institutions are each seeking the right balance between in-person, online and hybrid models of instruction based on their individual needs and the status of the COVID pandemic in their communities."
According to the University, they plan to employ a variety of education models which would vary program by program and student by student based on "particular circumstances.'
"It is entirely possible that universities across the nation, including ours, may need to shift back to an all-online approach if the pandemic worsens and threatens more lives," They state.
“This guidance dismisses the seriousness of the public health crisis in the United States and ignores the current restrictions on global travel due to consulate closures and other pandemic-related public health concerns,” said Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels, “International students are now faced with an impossible situation that causes undue stress and undermines their educational aims. Some students will be arbitrarily kept out of the country based on their institutions’ necessary responses to a fast-evolving public health crisis, and others could find themselves in legal limbo in this country if the COVID pandemic takes a turn for the worse and their universities are forced to revert to online education.”
Provost Sunil Kumar is hopeful that the policies would be continued in the fall in additional relief as requested by schools.
“Instead, SEVP has shown an utter disregard for the welfare of international students pursuing excellence in American higher education institutions, and for universities seeking to continue their missions in these most uncertain of times," Kumar said."If SEVP is under the impression that American higher education is returning to normal this fall, it could not be more mistaken.”
“We are deeply committed to providing opportunities for the world’s most talented scholars, and we will work closely with our international student population to navigate these unnecessary and disturbing disruptions to their educational pursuits while also employing all means available to reduce their impact,” Daniels said.
For more information on the program as well as the full statement, click here.