On its spread-out campus in America’s heartland, thousands of miles from China, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has taken proactive steps to keep the fast-spreading coronavirus away from its classrooms and students.
The school, with one of the highest percentages of Chinese students amongst U.S. universities, has rejected academic programs in China for the spring semester and banned students from flying to the country for academic-associated matters.
Over 350,000 Chinese students are pursuing larger education in the U.S., and 10,000 American students are enrolled in academic programs in China.
The sheer number of scholars, many of whom have traveled to their residence country in recent weeks, makes schools a potential incubator for the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
In coping with the new outbreak, delegates at U.S. colleges and universities can draw from their experiences with previous public health scares, along with the 2003 epidemic of the SARS virus.
At the University of Illinois, with around 5,800 Chinese students, Kaler sees a problem in keeping the campus freed from the new coronavirus without trespassing on rights or fanning xenophobia.
Even so, delegates would prefer to fail on the side of caution. “If they wish to come and fuss at us later, we would moderately have them be alive to be able to come fuss at us than not,” she stated.
USC, where 6,600 students from China attend college, has taken relevant measures in banning students from traveling to China and strongly advising against professors making the trip.