Chatter That Matters December 2018

Chatter That Matters, December 2018 

Though the Trump Administration is not moving forward with a proposed ban on visas for Chinese students at American schools, it is pursuing a change in rules to limit the amount of time a student can stay on a visa.The status quo is that student visas are valid for the “duration of status,” meaning as long as the program of study lasts. The administration has not specified how long the time limits would be.

The University of Birmingham will begin to accept the Gaokao, meaning students who score at least 80% on the exam, as well as meeting other criteria, including English proficiency, will be eligible for direct admission without a Foundation year. This is part of a broader trend of Anglophone universities using the Gaokao as part of the admissions process.


A British archeologist was denied entry to the US to speak at a conference because of her field work in Sudan. Since 2015, the US has closed its visa waiver program to anyone who has recently visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen. Similar concerns are rising in the UK, as a Nigerian academic was denied entry to speak at a conference, with embassy officials saying she was likely to overstay. These types of incidents raise concerns that academic conferences, particularly on topics related to Africa and the Middle East, should not be held in countries with restrictive visa practices. 


As of August 9, students in the US on F, J, and M visas begin accruing “unlawful presence” the day after an alleged violation, such as working without authorization or ceasing a course of study. In the past, a student’s “unlawful presence” did not begin until the Department of Homeland Security issued a formal finding. Students who accrue more than 180 days of “unlawful presence” in one stay face multi-year bans from bans on entering the US.

The father of a student in Florida filed a class action suit against the College Board for allegedly reusing old SAT questions, which could put students who have seen previous SAT tests at an advantage. There are reports of students in Asia seeing questions on the SAT that were on previous exams or even included in their test-prep material.



The Advocacy & Outreach Committee (previously known as the Government Relations Committee) sees a lot of important news about the world of higher education. In this regular feature, we’ll be highlighting a few stories that might be of interest to you. When you hear stories that need wider attention, let us know by filling out our quick form here. (If you’re in a place where Google doesn’t work, just email your tip to [email protected].)

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Comments on "Chatter That Matters December 2018"

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Lucien Giordano - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Great work, Matt!

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