Chancellor Carol Christ and Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Senior International Officer Lisa Alvarez-Cohen sent the following message to the campus community on Tuesday:
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security issued new guidance to universities related to international students and fall instruction requirements. The guidance is deeply concerning: It could potentially force the return of many international students to their home countries if they are unable to find the appropriate balance of in-person and remote classes. These requirements run counter to our values of being an inclusive community and one that has a long tradition of welcoming international students from around the globe. International students enrich campus life immeasurably, through their participation in classes, research collaborations and extracurricular activities.
We will explore all of our options, legal and otherwise, to counter the deleterious effects of these policies that impact the ability for international students to achieve their academic goals. It is not only important for UC Berkeley, but for all of higher education across the U.S. to take every step possible to mitigate these policies that send a message of exclusion to our international community of scholars. We will partner with our professional associations to advocate for sound legislation that continues to support international educational exchange.
More immediately, we are working with colleagues across our campus to identify a path that will allow us to comply with these requirements while ensuring a healthy learning environment and paying attention to the needs of our international students. We recognize the concern and anxiety these new rules have created, and we are moving quickly to ensure that we offer the proper balance of online and in-person classes so that our students can remain in the U.S. and satisfy their visa requirements, and that those students residing outside the U.S. can maintain their enrollment status.
We expect to announce more details soon. Should you have any questions, please contact the Berkeley International Office at internationaloffice@berkeley.