Let’s Take a Closer Look at Student Permits

The University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) does business in Annandale, but you won’t find it listed on the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia’s list of accredited private colleges and universities. It’s one of an increasing number of unaccredited institutions that cater to foreign students, mostly Indian, who want to gain admittance to the United States on student visas.

These institutions are virtually unknown to Americans but they market widely to young people in India. When they reach the U.S., many students take full-time work and pursue only nominal studies. According to this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Virginia and California are hotbeds of activity that is now drawing the scrutiny of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

UNVA is “certified” by SCHEV, which presumably means that it is legally recognized, though not accredited. SCHEV designates the following institutions as certified but not accredited:

American College of Commerce and Technology (Falls Church)
American Digital University (Sterling)
Bethel College (Hampton)
HyperLearning Technologies (Virginia Beach)
iGlobal University (Annandale)
International College of Washington (Annandale)
Kings Park University of Accupuncture and Oriental Medicine (Alexandria)
Saint Michael College of Allied Health (Alexandria)
University of North America (Vienna)
University of Northern Virginia (Annandale)
Virginia School of Nursing & Medical Institute (Springfield)
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (Roanoke)
Virginia University of Oriental Medicine (Fairfax)

If these institutions have arisen to meet the legitimate educational needs of people, whether American or foreign-born, then good for them. If they exist mainly to allow foreigners to circumvent immigration quotas in order to take American jobs, then they need to be examined closely. An argument can be made that immigration quotas need to be loosened up to allow more foreigners legal admittance to the U.S. I’m all in favor of having that conversation. I am not in favor of allowing student-visa mills to operate with impunity.


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