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UArizona works to keep international students in the U.S.

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 21:18:07-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona is now reacting to a recent federal mandate that impacts international students.

That group is a critical component of the University's revenue stream and right now UArizona leaders are working fast to make sure they don't lose those students.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new guidelines Monday, stating that students "may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States."

That means there must be in-person interaction during the course.

UArizona Provost Liesl Folks says the university quickly heard from anxious and upset students.

"We emailed the students yesterday and said 'don't panic, we're working on it' And we are," Folks said. "There's a whole team that quickly came together yesterday to answer all those questions."

UArizona has already developed a hybrid curriculum for the next two semesters. And students have already chosen their classes for Fall.

"For some students, there's no problem at all because we've already easily met the requirement," Folks said.

But other students may have already chosen only online courses for the Fall semester.

"So we're going to have to work with them one-on-one and go back and say 'we need you to be in this class and not that class,'" Folks said.

"Every year when we build a class we have enough students who pay high tuition to balance the students who pay lower tuition because of financial need or our merit based students," Folks said. "That's always a bit of a tangle for any university."

She said the university is making specific arrangements to make sure international students complete their degrees, keep their visas, and stay healthy.

"So lots of pieces, but we will get there," Folks said. "We will get there."