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Statement in support of our international graduate community

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dear Brown Graduate Students,

As you may be aware, news media are reporting that the U.S. State Department has described a new policy that would shorten the length of validity for some visas that are issued to Chinese citizens. News reports indicate that Chinese graduate students will be limited to one-year visas if they are studying in fields like robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing. The changes would take effect as of June 11, 2018. 

While there are few clear details about the implications of the reported changes for graduate students across the country, the news reports are of great concern to the University. As we have stated clearly and strongly in the past, the University remains committed to supporting our international students and scholars. While we wait for further details about the visa changes, we are reaching out to peer institutions, our national higher education organizations, and our congressional delegation to express our concern about any actions that would limit our ability to attract and support the best and brightest talent from across the globe.

Brown is in full agreement with the statement issued Wednesday by The American Council on Education (ACE), of which Brown is a member institution:

Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Reports of Chinese Student Visa Restrictions

Washington (May 30, 2018)—“We stand ready to work with federal officials to address security concerns regarding Chinese or any international students. However, we fear that applying a broad brush of suspicion to such a large group sends a message that our nation no longer welcomes talented students and scholars from across the globe.

Some one million international students attend U.S. colleges and universities annually, contributing greatly to this country’s intellectual and cultural vibrancy, and they also yield an estimated economic impact of $36.9 billion and support 450,000 U.S. jobs. Federal data shows that Chinese students alone contributed $12.55 billion to our national economy in 2016.

As reported, this new policy would be bad for institutions and bad for the nation. While apparently aimed at Chinese students in certain STEM fields, this would have a chilling effect on our ability to attract international students from all countries. These students have been critical to research that supports U.S. economic growth and fuels innovation. We are anxious to do our part to ensure that America’s national and economic security is protected, while at the same time preserving the U.S. as a destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest students and scholars.”

The University will provide our affected international students with information pertaining to any policy changes that have implications for their education and research. In the meantime, please reach out to Shankar Prasad in the Office of Global Engagement with any questions or concerns you may have: email [email protected] or call 401-863-1300.


Richard M. Locke, Provost
Andrew G. Campbell, Dean of the Graduate School
Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life