H.C.R. NO.


















     WHEREAS, although some foreign students may attend Hawaii post-secondary educational institutions remotely from their home countries, many other foreign students relocate to Hawaii to pursue their post-secondary studies, and contribute to the academic rigor and diversity of their respective campuses; and


     WHEREAS, these students pay significantly higher tuition fees than other students, and those fees contribute significantly to the budgets of post-secondary educational institutions in the State; and


     WHEREAS, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created a crisis for many international students studying in the United States, including Hawaii; and


     WHEREAS, foreign students in Hawaii face many challenging conditions, including:


     (1)  Social isolation in a foreign land compounded by social distancing mandates and a shift to virtual learning;


     (2)  Unfamiliarity with the American healthcare system and cultural taboos surrounding mental health treatment;


     (3)  A pandemic-induced global recession that resulted in a loss of campus employment opportunities for international students and a reduction in financial support from overseas family members;


     (4)  Ineligibility for federal aid granted to American students, including congressionally authorized coronavirus emergency relief funds;


     (5)  Border closures initiated by the students' home countries in response to surging coronavirus infection rates across the United States, which left students stranded in the United States where the cost of living is often higher;


     (6)  Student visa issues created by the federal administration's unpredictable policies that, at one time, disqualified international students studying at schools that had moved to one hundred percent online learning from remaining in the country;


     (7)  The growing risk of staying in the United States beyond the expiration of their visas if certain borders are not open for travel;


     (8)  The high costs of return travel home, due to circuitous routes as flights are limited or suspended;


     (9)  The limited availability of campus housing, which leads to students seeking shelter with people in local communities, some of whom, particularly Pacific Islanders, have been disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;


    (10)  Prohibitions on working anywhere outside of campus, when available campus work is limited;


    (11)  The ability to afford food; and


    (12)  Anti-Asian sentiments, especially anti-Chinese sentiments, since the first coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, which have coincided with a rise in hate crimes; and


     WHEREAS, post-secondary educational institutions in the State, having accepted enrollment commitments and tuition payments from international students, should invest in these students and offer them an array of supportive services that will help them weather the visa uncertainties, financial hardships, and mental health toll caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic; and


     WHEREAS, many international students who recently graduated, specifically in Spring 2020 or later, are unable to leave the State due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and


     WHEREAS, recent international graduates who are unable to leave the State need support and guidance, but are normally not eligible for assistance from their respective post-secondary educational institutions; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the Senate concurring, that each post-secondary educational institution in the State, whether public or private, having a current enrollment of one or more international students, or from which one or more international students graduated in Spring 2020 or later, is requested to conduct outreach among the institution's international students and recent international graduates and maintain detailed records of international student and recent international graduate status and well-being in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on each international student's and recent international graduate's:


     (1)  Housing status;


     (2)  Need for financial assistance;


     (3)  Physical, mental, and emotional well-being; and


     (4)  Immigration or student visa status; and


any other information relevant to the impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 on international students and recent international graduates, to the extent that collection of the foregoing information is not prohibited by federal, state, or county law; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that each post-secondary educational institution described above is requested to consider the types of supportive services that the institution is capable of providing to its international students and recent international graduates, whether independently or in partnership with governmental or private entities, and to engage in active efforts to provide these services to the fullest extent feasible; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that each post-secondary educational institution described above is requested to include among its supportive services:


     (1)  Assistance with fulfilling student visa requirements, including facilitating the provision of any necessary institutional documentation to the United States Department of Homeland Security, facilitating academic training arrangements that permit extensions of J-1 visas, and resolving student visa issues caused by administrative decisions made by the post-secondary educational institution;


     (2)  Housing assistance, including:


          (A)  Assistance to international students and recent international graduates with relocation to off‑campus or private housing;


          (B)  Reimbursements to members of the community for providing shelter to international students and recent international graduates; and;


          (C)  Transitional or temporary housing subsidized by local community, civic, religious, and other non‑profit organizations acting in partnership with the post-secondary educational institution;


     (3)  Work opportunities, to the extent permitted by law;


     (4)  Financial assistance, including the establishment of charitable emergency funds and provision of donated goods, including food, clothing, household goods, textbooks, and other educational supplies;


     (5)  Organized activities that comply with applicable state or county coronavirus disease 2019 guidelines and provide opportunities for physical exercise and social and cultural engagement;


     (6)  Activities designed to combat against anti-Asian sentiments, especially anti-Chinese sentiments; and


     (7)  Other actions designed to create a sense of safety and belonging among international students and recent international graduates; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be the transmitted to the President of the University of Hawaii System and Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the latter of whom is requested to transmit copies of this measure to each private college, private university, out-of-state public institution, seminary, and religious training institution that is authorized to operate in this State pursuant to Chapter 305J, Hawaii Revised Statutes.









Report Title: 

Post-Secondary Education; International Students; Outreach