Yale University Joins Court Brief Filed in Support of Work Program for International Students

United States North America International Studies by Erudera News Jun 26, 2021

Yale University

Yale University joined 150 other universities and colleges across the United States in filing an amicus brief demanding a federal court to support the program that allows international students to gain work experience in the country, outside their classroom studies.

Filed in the US Court of Appeals case named “Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. US Department of Homeland Security”, the brief was filed in support of continuing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which is a federal program that offers temporary employment authorization to graduate and undergraduate students with F-1 visa status to gain practical training in their fields of study, Erudera.com reports.

According to the brief, the OPT opportunities provide ”an edge in an increasingly competitive global education marketplace” for international students at American higher education institutions.

”Without OPT, the education that international students will receive in the United States will be less robust, and the ability of American colleges and universities to attract and educate the best and brightest from around the world will diminish,” the brief states.

In November 2020, a US federal district court judge decided that Homeland Security has the legal authority to permit international students work in the US under the OPT program. The decision is expected to be considered by the US Court of Appeals, and if there is a change in the judge’s decision, the program could end.

Yale University and other institutions that joined the amicus brief are members of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, which filed the brief in coordination with the NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

223,539 international students, or 21% of the total international student population in the country, attended the OPT program in the 2019/20 academic year. During the same period, international students contributed to the US economy with an amount of $38.7 billion, NAFSA reveals.

3,014 international students, including graduate and undergraduate scholars from 120 different countries, were enrolled at Yale University in fall 2019. That fall, more than 800 international students participated in the F-1 OPT program.

The top five countries of origin for international students studying at Yale during 2019 were:

  • China – 963 students
  • Canada – 254 students
  • India – 232 students
  • South Korea – 151 students
  • United Kingdom – 138 students

Back in 2020, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Yale University of illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants during its undergraduate admission process. In February this year, DOJ dropped the lawsuit brought by the Trump administration against Yale University, claiming that the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudices and that neither the United States nor the court managed to make any final determination over the matter.

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