Focus: GS-II International Relations
Why in news?
- The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has decided that international students whose courses have gone completely online will have to return to their home countries.
- At the same time, the directive reiterates that international students cannot take more than one class or three credits online.
Significance and what is being done
- After China, India is the second largest country of origin for students in the US.
- While universities are working to find a way out, putting in place hybrid options for international students, national governments are taking up the matter with the US government.
- The current move to use international students to pressure universities to open up has risks, and Universities and even the states stand to lose sizeable revenue.
- The other factor behind this decision is an outreach to a key pro-Trump lobby that wants to reduce immigration, including that of students, who, it argues, would stay on and ‘compete for American jobs.
- This move could momentarily dim the attractiveness of the US as an education destination.
- And it provides an opportunity for alternative destinations to emerge.
- India should treat this as an opportunity and put in place a superior higher education system.
- While it could attract foreign students — and that would be a plus — it would grant Indian students who aspire for world-class higher education their wish right at home, and raise standards across the board.
-Source: Economic Times