AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas on Sunday released a letter announcing the steps it is planning to take in support of its international students following new guidance announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which in short stated that college students who were taking online courses only would not be allowed to stay in the country.
In the letter, university leaders said they have developed a process to make sure that international students receive the necessary F-1 visa certification to continue their education at UT Austin.
Those steps include a "hybrid mode" campus through the fall semester so that the university will not be moving to an "all online" posture, which accomplishes one of the ICE requirements the university will also be extending its registration period from July 23 through 31 for students to modify their schedules.
The letter can be read in full here:
Dear Fellow Longhorns,
I write to share the concrete steps we are taking to support our international students.
Since the recent guidance was announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the university has been working quickly to understand the impact this has on our students. Interim President Hartzell and I have heard from students, faculty and staff expressing their concerns and frustrations. In response, we have developed a process to ensure they receive the necessary F-1 visa certification so they can continue their education at UT Austin.
I’d like to acknowledge and thank our community for rallying together to offer our support and solidarity to the students impacted by the guidance. Their presence on our campus is essential and we will work hard to ensure they have our support throughout this process.
We are taking the following steps to make it possible for students with F-1 visas to comply with the new guidance.
UT Austin will remain a “hybrid mode” campus throughout the Fall 2020 semester. The university will not move to an “all online” posture. This status fulfills one of the requirements of the ICE guidance.
Individual hybrid courses, all of which have an in-person component, will be available broadly across the university to satisfy the educational needs of both undergraduate and graduate students. F-1 visa holders will need to enroll in at least one hybrid or in-person course to be compliant with the newly issued guidance. Hybrid courses currently available are listed in the course schedule and a comprehensive list of hybrid and face-to-face courses is also available on the Texas One Stop website. Further, we will move additional courses to hybrid instruction mode over the week of July 16-22 July. Please consult with your departmental advisors about which hybrid courses best align with your degree program.
There will be an extended registration period from July 23-31 for students to modify their schedules accordingly.
Texas Global will be filing the necessary paperwork with ICE in early August to certify compliance with visa requirements.
We have designed these steps to both support our students and help them make progress in their education. Texas Global is organizing a series of town hall events for students and the campus. You can find information about those events on the Texas Global website.
I continue to be impressed by the ways our campus is responding to support each other as we prepare for the fall. Thank you for everything you do. I hope you all have a safe summer with opportunities to expand our vision and enrich your experiences.
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