First Thought

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

This summer, when the Taliban swept into control of Afghanistan, some American colleges rallied to the aid of displaced students and scholars, offering them places and scholarships.

The emergency response has been praised, but a coalition of higher-education and humanitarian-assistance groups hopes to create a more durable solution for refugee students: A new college-sponsorship program would help student refugees resettle in the U.S., earn degrees, and ultimately obtain permanent residency.

Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, an organizer of the RESPONSE Campaign: College and University Sponsorship of Refugee Students, said, “If the first time we try to deal with something is in crisis, it’s too late,” and she called for a policy structure set up for these students.

Read more from Karin in this week’s latitude(s).

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“Large research universities like Berkeley have the potential to “sort of plow over the institutions that initially needed the funding.”

—Gina Ann Garcia, an associate professor of higher education at the University of Pittsburgh, who studies the growth in Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Read more in The Chronicle from Sarah Brown and Katherine Mangan: “Everyone Wants to Be a Hispanic-Serving Institution.”