Colleges across the United States have started pulling out students from study abroad programs in Russia, ending research partnerships and cutting financial ties following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
At the same time, colleges have promised to support Russian students on their campuses, opposing calls from Congress to remove them from the country as a sanction against their homeland.
“Leaders need to make a distinction between Putin and Russian people who want a better life,” said Jill Welch, a senior adviser for the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a coalition of university presidents.
“Sending anyone back wouldn’t shorten any war by a day,” Welch added.
Many universities called for compassion for Russian students who may also fear for the safety of family members or face sudden financial difficulty.
Columbia University’s president said students from both countries face a “bewildering and uncertain road ahead.”
At the University of Washington, President Ana Mari Cauce said the campus stands with Ukraine but “must also take care to not let the actions of Russia’s authoritarian government affect our treatment of Russian students, scholars and community members who have no role in its policies.”
Presidents of Arizona’s public universities notified the state Monday that they were ending financial and academic ties with Russia in response to an order from the state’s board of regents.
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