Universities in the United States have come up with a campaign, entitled ‘You Are Welcome Here,’ in a bid to dispel apprehensions of foreign students wanting to study in that country after Donald Trump, the new American President, had adopted an anti-immigration stance during his election campaign.
Started initially by the Philadelphia-based Temple University, this campaign is said to have taken to the social media in a big way with many other universities following suit. Faculty, staff and students have produced videos inviting foreign students to their campuses and assuring them that things were going on as usual on US campuses.
The Hindu quotes Arun Reddy, a techie working in Virginia, as saying that several enquiries had come in from India in the last few months from students and their parents about the climate prevailing the in the US campuses currently. He said that he had assured them that campuses in America were highly liberal and there were no restrictions whatsoever.
Paul Watson, a student pursuing a doctoral programme at Texas Tech University Lubbock, said that though statements made during presidential campaign have the potential to create apprehensions in the minds of students, it is unlikely that foreign students would be intimidated. America is a nation of immigrants, without whom it would not have been a superpower, he said. Watson added that anti-immigrant postures were embraced for political expediency. But post-elections, these issues vanish, he added. Endorsing his view was Sridhar Serineni, a Phoenix-based resident. Serineni added that a lot of negative propaganda was being disseminated on social media about the US government’s policies and the ‘unfavourable’ conditions existing there. He praised this campaign and said that it would allay fears of aspiring students wanting to come to the US.
This is an important issue for India as it sends the second highest number of students to the US after China.
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