University of Toronto keeping close watch on impact of US travel restrictions
“The idea of targeting and restricting the travel of individuals on the basis of their nationality or birthplace is antithetical to everything we stand for as an institution and a country.” — University of Toronto President, Meric Gertler
The University of Toronto is keeping close watch on events related to President Trump’s order restricting travel to the United States from seven countries.
“We are working collectively with Universities Canada to express our concern regarding the travel restrictions, and our support for international students and scholars across the country who may be affected by these actions,” says President Meric Gertler. “The strength of research and teaching at the University of Toronto has always been based upon our ability to welcome the most talented individuals from around the world, and the freedom of our faculty and students to travel abroad for purposes of scholarship and study.
“Actions that impede this would be terribly harmful to our academic community, and to Canadian research and scholarship more broadly,” Gertler added. “The idea of targeting and restricting the travel of individuals on the basis of their nationality or birthplace is antithetical to everything we stand for as an institution and a country.”
In a statement posted on Sunday, Universities Canada said “Canada’s universities continue to welcome students, faculty and staff from around the world, including those seeking refuge from violence and hardship….We support Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent statement that Canada will continue to welcome those ‘fleeing persecution, terror and war’ regardless of faith and affirming that ‘diversity is our strength’.”
South of the border, the Association of American Universities issued a statement that noted with great concern the impact of the restrictions on students already approved to study in the United States, and urged the Administration “as soon as possible, to make clear to the world that the United States continues to welcome the most talented individuals from all countries to study, teach, and carry out research and scholarship at our universities.”
The tech community in Canada also published an open letter condemning the restrictions and calling on the Canadian government to institute “an immediate and targeted visa providing those currently displaced by the US Executive Order with temporary residency in Canada. This visa would allow these residents to live and work in Canada with access to benefits until such time as they can complete the application process for permanent residency if they so choose.
As the situation unfolds the University will monitor events and offer help to ensure teaching and research activities carry on without interruption, Gertler says. The University is also considering ways it can support visiting faculty or students whose mobility has been impeded by the travel restrictions.
- Students travelling abroad with concerns should call the Safety Abroad Office directly 416-946-3929; in the case of an emergency, reach us at the 24-hour collect emergency line via Campus Police at 416-978-2222.
- International students on all three U of T campuses who have concerns or questions can reach staff at the Centre for International Experience at 416-978-2564 or email email@example.com.