Authorities in US have initiated action against another university, this time in the suburb of Washington, where an overwhelming number of students are from India with majority of them reportedly from Andhra Pradesh.
However, based on their experience of the ‘shamed’ Tri Valley University in California, wherein the Indian government had strongly objected to the manner in which students from India were treated, federal authorities this time have taken steps to ensure that students face less inconvenience and have assured the Indian Embassy here that no arrest or detention or electronic monitoring would be done on students.
Contrary to the Tri Valley case, the focus of investigations here is not on students but on the schools itself, an official told the media.
On the lines similar to that of the Tri valley University, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday initiated action against the University of Northern Virginia which presently has 2,400 students, of whom 90 per cent are from India.
Of these an overwhelming majority of them are from Andhra Pradesh.
The University of Northern Virginia was authorised to issue I-20 form to about 50 students but had issued and enrolled a much larger number.
However, based on the experience of the Tri-valley case US authorities would be handling the present investigation and follow up action somewhat differently.
Stating that no arrest, detention or electronic monitoring would be done on students, officials said the university would not be immediately shut down but would be given a one month notice for explanation.
The present students would have one of the three options: continue at the University while it functions; seek transfer to another university and seek voluntary return to India.
Also the visa status of the students would not be terminated, they would remain valid for their present duration, which would also provide time for seeking transfers while continuing in a valid visa status.
US authorities investigating the case, acknowledge lacuna in their current education and visa system which was not to early identification of universities that exceed their mandate.
It is understood that following Tri valley and University of North Virginia, they are looking into addressing thus.
However, it is clear that certain number of universities have recently been set up in the US with the clear intention of exploiting the hunger of large number of Indian students for higher education.
It seems that like in the case of Australian universities earlier, several such universities have come up in the US only to make profit.
Those familiar with the system note that Indian students are coming here hoping to get some US degree either for social status or to enhance employment potential.
Indian families and employers are not always in a position to access the caliber of various US universities.
To avoid such hardship it is important that the prospective students verify the antecedents of universities they want to join, the US embassy in Delhi has given on its website details of procedure to be followed for such verification.
The Indian Embassy in Washington has been in touch with the US authorities to try and ensure that the students are not victimised.
Some of the mitigating measure that are being taken in this case are also because of continuous efforts made by the Embassy since the Tri Valley University case.(PTI)