Published July 8, 2020
President Satish K. Tripathi released a statement Wednesday evening regarding changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced earlier this week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE's ruling mandates that international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities that are transitioning to online-only courses this fall leave the country or risk violating their visa status.
It does not appear that the new rule will negatively impact most of the 5,500 enrolled and incoming international students at UB, Tripathi said.
"However, the regulation runs contrary to our longstanding commitment to inclusion and equity in higher education, and we are deeply dismayed and troubled by this policy change," Tripathi said.
"UB is, and always has been, an international institution. From our founding in 1846, our university community has been immeasurably enriched by students from around the world. Our international students’ diversity of background, perspective and lived experience greatly enhances UB’s research, education and engagement mission."
As an international university, UB believes that all international students in U.S. colleges and universities should have the opportunity to pursue their educational goals and professional aspirations unimpeded, Tripathi said.
He added that the university is actively working with elected officials "to both reaffirm the vital role of international students in our broader higher education landscape, and to help change the federal government’s stance on this critical issue."
"As UB president, I offer my unqualified support for our international students and promise that we will continue to work on their behalf to foster a community where all international students feel welcome and valued for their many and meaningful contributions to our university mission," Tripathi said.