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How vaccines could cause trouble for international students | #Education | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


With help from Lauraine Genota and Juan Perez Jr.

This newsletter is a weekly version of POLITICO Pro’s daily Education policy newsletter, Morning Education. POLITICO Pro is a policy intelligence platform that combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the day’s biggest stories. Act on the news with POLITICO Pro.

THE VACCINE QUANDARY — After a tumultuous year full of pandemic-era uncertainties for students who come to the U.S. for higher education, 90 percent of colleges across the country said they plan to offer in-person study to international students this fall, according to the Institute of International Education. But despite eased travel restrictions and U.S. consulates ramping up their visa process, confusion over vaccine policies may pose a significant hurdle for international students.

— More than 500 colleges across the country have a policy requiring vaccines for at least some students or employees, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s database. While these policies vary, the three FDA-authorized vaccines — those by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — may be out of reach for students now outside the U.S.

— And only eight vaccines have been approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use — including, in addition to the FDA-authorized options, AstraZeneca’s shots, as well as those of the China-based Sinopharm and Sinovac. Some students who have already been vaccinated with a different shot are worried about having to be vaccinated again once they get to the United States.

— Some schools with large international student populations, such as Carnegie Mellon University and New York University, have said they’ll count any Covid-19 vaccine that has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. Many colleges are also providing vaccination appointments on campus for anyone unable to get them in their country of residence, and others said they’ll assist international students in getting the vaccine after their arrival.

IT’S MONDAY, JUNE 28. WELCOME TO MORNING EDUCATION. Let’s grab coffee. Ping me at [email protected] to chat. Send tips to my colleagues Juan Perez Jr. at [email protected], Michael Stratford at [email protected] and Lauraine Genota at [email protected]. And follow us on Twitter: @Morning_Edu and @POLITICOPro.

NOW INTRODUCING: Daniel Payne, our POLITICO fellow, will be joining our team starting this week. Say “hi” and send him tips at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ENROLLMENT — About 1.1 million students from abroad attended college in the U.S. in the 2019-2020 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education. And 43 percent of schools reported an increase in their international student applications for the 2021-22 academic year, which IIE said is “almost double” the number of increases reported last year.

— “Universities are prepping for a strong recovery in international education enrollment as they emerge from the pandemic,” said Mirka Martel, IIE’s head of research, evaluation and learning. “We anticipate the recovery to come in phases, tied to vaccinations and travel guidelines.”

— IIE, which tracks international student enrollment, said while vaccination rates in the United States are on the rise, institutions will still continue to grapple with “variable vaccination rates worldwide,” especially with outbreaks in India, Latin America and elsewhere.

— Vaccine diplomacy could be a vital mission colleges and universities take on this fall, said Allan Goodman, IIE president. And vaccines could be an incentive for students to come to the United States. “We could vaccinate every incoming international student,” Goodman said. “For many students coming here, it might get them a vaccination years before they might be eligible in their home country.”

— A May 2021 QS survey found that 68 percent of prospective international students would take the vaccine if it was offered to them and 41 percent said they would get vaccinated if their university required it.

U.S. CONSULATES IN INDIA LOOK TO RESUME STUDENT VISA INTERVIEWS — Just weeks ago, U.S. colleges were worried about what their Indian international student enrollment would look like. India, which sends the second-most international students annually to the U.S. after China, was hit with a devastating Covid surge this spring, leading to travel restrictions, closed banks and shuttered consulates.

— “Unfortunately, those factors affected our ability to provide appointments for students in need of visas to travel for the start of the summer and fall semesters at U.S. institutions of higher education,” said Don Heflin, head of consular services in India, during a Facebook Live this month.

— But the consulates “intend to start an intensive two months of interviewing student visa applicants July 1,” Heflin said. Thousands of appointments for the interviews opened up on June 14 for dates in July and August. The goal, he added, is to interview “as many students as we did in the summer of 2019, the last normal year.”

THE COLLEGE PLEDGE — Hundreds of colleges across the country have signed on to participate in President Joe Biden’s “Covid-19 College Vaccine Challenge,” meaning they’ve committed to engaging their students, faculty and staff, organizing their college communities and ensuring vaccine access.

WHITE HOUSE BETS ON FREEBIES: To rope in more college students and younger Americans to get the vaccine, second gentleman Doug Emhoff on a press call last week announced incentives for students, like free Panera bagels and Chipotle burritos. The delivery service Gopuff also has promised to give $100,000 worth of credits to some community colleges and universities.

— “Less than half of people age 18-24 have one shot,” Emhoff said. “The reality is, many younger Americans have felt like Covid is not something that impacts them and they have been resistant to getting the shot.”

BIDEN: TRANSGENDER ATHLETE BILLS ARE ‘BULLYING’ — In remarks delivered last week about Pride month, the president called recently passed laws affecting transgender students “some of the ugliest, most un-American laws I’ve seen.”

— “Many of them target transgender children, seeking to prevent them from receiving the appropriate medical care; for using the bathroom at high schools … where they’ll be most safe; even preventing them from joining sports teams with their classmates,” he said. “This is nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation.”

— “These young people aren’t hurting anyone, but these laws are hurting them,” Biden added. And he spoke approvingly of his Justice Department’s move to file statements of interest in court cases battling against the restrictions, calling the laws unconstitutional.

SCOTUS TODAY: We’re keeping an eye on the Supreme Court and whether it will take up the legal battle over transgender students’ right to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. Gavin Grimm, a transgender man, sued his school board in 2015 over its policy that barred him from using the boys restroom. Gloucester County School Board in Virginia had implemented a policy that forced Grimm to use unisex restroom facilities.





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