First Thought

Insights drawn weekly from Karin Fischer’s global-education newsletter, latitude(s). Subscribe here.

The Trump administration has has proposed limiting students from roughly 60 countries to two-year stays in the United States because of high visa-overstay rates.

Critics have have challenged the approach of using overstay rates, noting that countries with tiny numbers of visitors to the U.S. can have exceptionally high rates, while top sending countries often have far larger numbers of actual overstays.

But new research questions the validity of government overstay rates in the first place. According to analysts at the National Foundation for American Policy, the overstay rates should not be seen as hard counts but rather as estimates of those individuals whom the government could not identify as having left the United States. Karin unpacks what the rates can really tell us in latitude(s).

The Reading List

  • The U.S. government issued guidance about foreign nationals who could be denied admission to the country based on Communist Party membership.
  • Dreamers report heightened anxiety because of Covid and DACA’s uncertain future. But undocumented students are also determined to continue their studies, a new survey finds.
  • Russia’s higher-education system is seriously underfunded, according to a government study.

Featured on

“A professor in Minnesota shouldn’t remove material because it might offend students in a few countries. The worst thing we could do is to make Chinese laws applicable around the world.”

—Sarah McLaughlin, a senior program officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, says professors teaching in newly global virtual classrooms risk importing more-restrictive attitudes toward campus speech from abroad.

Read the full story from The Chronicle‘s Karin Fischer on the censorship concerns that have emerged as American faculty teach Chinese students stuck overseas: Instruction Under Surveillance