America First Policies and International College Students
Agras, George A. “America First Policies and International College Students”, Boston College, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:108670.
This study examines the experiences of four higher education institutions as they respond to the current U.S. political climate and to the Trump administration’s policies on travel and immigration. It aims to understand and analyze the potential impact on the institutions’ internationalization priorities and engagement with their international students and to describe how those universities have reacted to national policies on foreigners and U.S. immigration. The study gathers information from six semi-structured interviews with university administrators and international student leaders at Babson College, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston College, and Bentley University. Data drawn from document-based research, including university webpages containing mission and vision statements, strategic plans, and press releases, among other data, help bring to symmetry the full scope of the institutions’ interpretations and actions in response to the political climate. The case study institutions report various levels of impact on their international activities as a result of the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the national politicization of anti-foreigner rhetoric. For example, heightened sensitivity to international recruitment and enrollment priorities demonstrates a prime area of concern among institutions. Senior administrators are motivated to express a campus-wide commitment to global engagement on their campuses. Institutions’ international offices respond ad hoc during critical times to accommodate increases in international student support and to solve pressing issues. Opportunities for sustaining the drive of institutions to engage deeply and meaningfully in activities that foster and enhance support for their international student populations and internationalization strategies, and future areas of research are also discussed.