Joseph R. Biden Jr. is the 46th president of the USA. He will be sworn as a president in January 2021. All eyes are on Biden now. The education sector has suffered a lot due to the pandemic.
Trump’s erratic decisions brought a lot of challenges for the higher education sector in the United States. Covid-19 just worsened the situation. Now that Biden is the President of The United States, it’s high time we discuss what international students may expect in the higher education sector.
What Are the Primary Challenges Biden Will Face Now?
The new President of the USA has to work hard on a sector badly affected by the pandemic. Colleges are in a deep financial crisis. Social distancing and remote learning have dropped the enrolment ratio in US colleges. Moreover, the instructional expenses have pushed colleges almost towards bankruptcy. Mini Many people have already lost jobs. Plus, the colleges do not know how to recover from this deep economic crisis.
Biden’s New Educational Plan for the International Students
Biden has already launched a plan for higher education. The goal is to make higher education accessible to the middle class. The plan proposes to provide vital health information to avoid covid-19 to the colleges who are eager to welcome international students.
There is no doubt that international students can help colleges recover from the pandemic’s deep financial crisis. But that is a long way to go. We can’t say anything for sure right now.
In March 2020, Biden has already proposed a plan where he said that he would forgive $10000 on student loans for each student. International students who have taken out a federal student loan in the USA can now give a sigh of relief. They will have to pay $10,000 less than what they originally owe on their student loans.
International students are already avoiding US colleges due to the strict travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic. Trump’s unfriendly immigration policies and strict post-study work visa rules have miffed international students. If Trump won, then international students would have to leave the country after four years of entering the US. It doesn’t matter if the students can complete their education or not. International students were quite angry with this new role as some education programs take longer than four years to complete. Where would they have gone after four years? What would have happened to their education? There is no comprehensive answer to their questions.
During the election campaign, Biden promised to revoke all the executive orders against the international students if he is elected as the President of the United States. Now that he has become the 46th President of the country, it’s time to fulfill his promise.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Trump was a racist. He brought a lot of rules that lead to racial discrimination. The scenario was such that International students from countries like Nigeria stopped applying to US colleges. They wanted to avoid the risk of racial discrimination that was so prevalent in the colleges. Why would they get bullied even after paying money just because their skin color is not white?
Biden Has promised to revoke Trump’s ban on international students coming from Muslim dominated countries. There shouldn’t be any discrimination among students based on their religion. Biden said earlier that there is no rule for scientific evidence that proves that Muslim students are harmful to any country. It is morally wrong to prohibit Muslim students from entering the country and getting an opportunity to study in US colleges.
According to Biden, it was just another Trump strategy to bully black and brown immigrants. Biden is entirely against the ban on Muslims. Undoubtedly, Biden’s progressive attitude is likely to appeal to international students, especially those from Muslim-dominated countries. International students may reconsider their decision regarding applying to US colleges for higher studies. But we cannot say anything for sure as of now. We have to wait and watch international students’ responses in 2021 when Trump’s era is officially over.
Earlier, there was a discussion regarding the revocation of the Optional Practical Training Program (OPT) in the US due to the international students’ strict immigration laws. That was another demotivational factor for international students, especially those who want to accumulate work experience in the US after completing their higher studies. It is expected that the new President of the US will not suspend this program for international students. If that happens, then international students will be more eager to study in the US.
International students from Muslim countries are delighted with Biden’s win. They study in the US colleges and then they contribute to the economy of the country. Trump didn’t understand that.
If everything goes according to the plan, Biden will relaunch the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (also known as the DACA) program. This program was the brainchild of the Obama administration. The goal of the program is to safeguard the undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children.
If Biden relaunches this program, undocumented immigrants will qualify for Federal student loans and Pell Grants. Plus, they can also apply for community colleges without inviting any debt trouble in their life. If this rule is introduced, then 216,000 undocumented immigrants will qualify for DACA.
The danger is not over yet. Biden will start working officially in the US as a president from January 2021. If Trump is head bound to impose the strict visa rule where the international students can only stay in the country for 4 years, he might pass it into law before Biden can do anything. In that case, Biden has to go through the legislative process to revoke this new rule for the sake of the international students and the bright future of the US colleges. Let us hope that Trump does not impose any immigration rules before the official ceremony of Biden.