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【留学】哥大校长致信拜登:“结束对中国学生的偏执”(附英文全文) ... ...

2020-12-14 14:40

摘要: 当地时间12月3日,美国哥伦比亚大学在其官网刊登了该校校长李·布林格(Lee C. Bollinger)致美国当选总统拜登的公开信。信中,布林格提出,希望拜登上任后能够结束对中国学生的偏执。布林格称,希望拜登将工作重点 ...
当地时间12月3日,美国哥伦比亚大学在其官网刊登了该校校长李·布林格(Lee C. Bollinger)致美国当选总统拜登的公开信。信中,布林格提出,希望拜登上任后能够结束对中国学生的偏执。

布林格称,希望拜登将工作重点重新放在吸引、欢迎世界上最顶尖的人才上,不论其国籍和种族,而不是号召大学监视自己的国际学生和访问学者,尤其针对中国学生和华裔。

“明年一月上任后,您将有机会快速、果断地纠正近年来我们教育政策中的过失。这当中,最令人关切的就是对高校开展国际间交流的持续打击……”布林格在信中写道。

布林格表示,疫情到来后,大学生活中缺少的一个重要方面就是国际学生的存在。成千上万的国际学生目前仍无法返回美国,即使能够获准入境,他们也面临着诸多限制。

“在学院的大范围内,这不是一件小事。”布林格称,国际学生是美国高等教育卓越的基础,而在过去四年里,美国联邦政府采取的行动加大了外国学生来美国的难度。

在公开信中,布林格建议撤回美国国土安全部提出的限制国际学生在美居留时间的提案,并留出足够的时间供他们完成学位课程。

他还建议增加H-1B签证(特殊专业人员/临时工作签证)、OPT(美国F1学生签证毕业后的实习期)等相关项目,以恢复国际学生的实践机会。


以下为信件全文:


Dear President-elect Biden,


When you take office in January, there will be an opportunity to quickly and decisively remedy many of the costly and consequential missteps in education policy we have seen in recent years. Of greatest concern, there has been a sustained assault against the vibrant exchange with the international community that over the years has contributed so greatly to making our universities and colleges the envy of the world. This open letter sets forth reforms aimed at rectifying that misguided turn in federal policy.


At the moment, college campuses are marred by empty classrooms, libraries, and sports complexes; sparsely populated dormitories; and testing facilities that have taken over student centers and dining halls. There is no denying that institutions of higher education are in the crosshairs of the COVID-19 virus. Like the rest of the nation and much of the world, we here at Columbia, and our allies throughout higher education, are doing the best we can under severely challenging circumstances.


One important aspect of university life that is missing is the presence of our international students. To be sure, many international students have remained in their home countries for the same reasons that many American students are taking classes from their childhood bedrooms — because de-densifying our campuses was and remains a public-health imperative.


However, unlike their American counterparts, thousands of international students are unable to return to the U.S. Or, if they are able to gain entry, they face onerous restrictions that threaten their ability to pursue their academic careers. This is not just a minor matter in the broad scale of the academy. These students are utterly foundational to our pursuit of excellence in American higher education. It is a grave mistake to turn them away or hinder their ranks. I urge you to take action against this serious threat as soon as possible after you are sworn in as President.


Actions by the federal government over the past four years have made it harder for foreign students to come to the United States, reduced the amount of time they may stay here, and curtailed their ability to work in this country after completing their studies.


Taken together and in combination with regressive immigration laws, these changes erode a profound and basic strength of the American system of higher education: our ability to attract the greatest academic and scientific talents from around the globe, whether in the form of promising students or gifted faculty members. Before the pandemic changed our lives, more than one million students came to the U.S. annually to study, accounting for more than $40 billion of economic activity each year. And in a different time, the U.S. State Department maintained a web page entitled, “foreign students yesterday, world leaders today,” which catalogued the numerous heads of state who were educated in the U.S. But, most of all, talented international students and faculty have been essential to fulfilling our primary mission — namely, the discovery of knowledge and the expansion of human understanding. This vibrant exchange with the international community has been under assault. 


With your inauguration in January, there will be an opportunity to remedy this tragic state of affairs and to make whole again our search for truth. I ask that your administration make this agenda a priority and include these reforms among your initial actions as President:


  • Federal student aid for Dreamers. Reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and ensure that Dreamers are eligible for federal student aid.


  • Travel bans. Repeal the Trump administration’s ban restricting travel from designated countries, particularly those targeting visitors to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim nations.


  • Non-immigration visa applications. Work with Congress to fund the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the level needed to reduce the backlog of requested visa renewals and applications for new non-immigrant visas.


  • Duration of status. Retract the proposal from the Department of Homeland Security to limit the time international students can reside in the United States and allow a duration of stay sufficient for the completion of degree programs.


  • H-1B visas and Optional Practical Training (OPT). Restore postgraduate opportunities for international students by strengthening and expanding H-1B visas, Optional Practical Training and related programs.


  • End paranoia of Chinese students. Instead of enlisting universities to monitor foreign-born students and visiting scholars, particularly if they are ethnically Chinese, focus again on attracting — and welcoming — the brightest minds in the world, regardless of nationality or country of origin.


  • Comprehensive immigration reform. Policy remedies specific to higher education will be fully effective only in tandem with comprehensive immigration reform. It is critical that the next administration work with Congress to address the long-term challenges facing international students and faculty.


These policy changes will have an immediate impact on American universities and will benefit countless international students and scholars harmed by the previous administration’s turning away from the world. More than that, though, this agenda announces beyond the realm of higher education that the United States is once again a nation dedicated to international engagement as a source of strength and a foundation for our leadership.


Sincerely,

Lee C. Bollinger


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