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US to shut �sham Universities�

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, March 29 � The message is loud and clear, the US Government is trying to intercept and shut down �sham Universities� to avoid replay of last year�s unpleasant radio-collaring episode of Indian students.

Director US Consulate General, Kolkata, Chad P Cummins speaking to The Assam Tribune said today the US Government considers such bogus Universities and schools as a �huge problem� and investigation is on to weed them out.

Last September, several Indian students fell prey to a sham University called Tri-Valley in California, US. Some of the students who enrolled in the University were later radio-tagged to monitor their movement by US Immigration officials. That led to an uproar in India.

Post the radio-collaring incident, the US Government is taking a closer look at some of its policy loopholes to avoid recurrence of �unsuspecting� students being victimised by sham Universities.

One of the tricky issues being looked into is about US Universities and schools having the right to enrol foreign students without being necessarily accredited.

Taking advantage of this loophole in the policy, several sham Universities mushroomed and acted as fronts to run immigration rackets.

In fact, after the 9/11 attack, the US has increased its surveillance on foreign students because some of the terrorists who rammed into the twin towers were aviation students in the US.

The Consular official was here to interact with students of St.Anthony�s College and encourage them to enrol in US Universities. He said during the interaction that students must get in touch with US Consulates in the country for better information of schools and Universities to avoid being victims of fraud.

Cummins also advised students to go through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department�s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to get better insight into US schools and Universities. SEVIS has a list of approved schools and Universities.

The US Government is also directing all Universities and schools to provide clear details about its accreditation status, alumni and the courses offered under the new policy being worked out.

�There are a few wrinkles in the policy that needs to be ironed out and once that is done it would benefit foreign students,� Cummins added.

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US to shut �sham Universities�

SHILLONG, March 29 � The message is loud and clear, the US Government is trying to intercept and shut down �sham Universities� to avoid replay of last year�s unpleasant radio-collaring episode of Indian students.

Director US Consulate General, Kolkata, Chad P Cummins speaking to The Assam Tribune said today the US Government considers such bogus Universities and schools as a �huge problem� and investigation is on to weed them out.

Last September, several Indian students fell prey to a sham University called Tri-Valley in California, US. Some of the students who enrolled in the University were later radio-tagged to monitor their movement by US Immigration officials. That led to an uproar in India.

Post the radio-collaring incident, the US Government is taking a closer look at some of its policy loopholes to avoid recurrence of �unsuspecting� students being victimised by sham Universities.

One of the tricky issues being looked into is about US Universities and schools having the right to enrol foreign students without being necessarily accredited.

Taking advantage of this loophole in the policy, several sham Universities mushroomed and acted as fronts to run immigration rackets.

In fact, after the 9/11 attack, the US has increased its surveillance on foreign students because some of the terrorists who rammed into the twin towers were aviation students in the US.

The Consular official was here to interact with students of St.Anthony�s College and encourage them to enrol in US Universities. He said during the interaction that students must get in touch with US Consulates in the country for better information of schools and Universities to avoid being victims of fraud.

Cummins also advised students to go through the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department�s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to get better insight into US schools and Universities. SEVIS has a list of approved schools and Universities.

The US Government is also directing all Universities and schools to provide clear details about its accreditation status, alumni and the courses offered under the new policy being worked out.

�There are a few wrinkles in the policy that needs to be ironed out and once that is done it would benefit foreign students,� Cummins added.

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