Agency backtracks on international students and online learning rule

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) withdrew its international student policy after a little over a week, when several higher education institutions filed lawsuits against the rule. According to Inside Higher Ed, the rule required international students to take in-person coursework to remain in the U.S., or they would have to head to their home country.

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) filed a joint lawsuit against DHS and its sub-agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In addition to the Harvard-MIT joint lawsuit, other states and multiple universities filed similar lawsuits challenging the rule.

The July 6 rule specifically stipulated that international students could not stay in the U.S. legally if they took all their coursework online, after multiple higher education institutions moved their coursework to online-only due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Before the pandemic, the government has not typically permitted international students to take more than one class online.

DHS officially rescinded the rule on July 14.