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Can the damage done to the reputation of the United States abroad be repaired?




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Information from weekly Karin Fischer’s Global Education Newsletter, latitude (s). Subscribe here.

Imagine you are a parent in India whose son or daughter is planning to study in the United States. You sit down for breakfast and open the newspapers. There is a banner title on The time of India above a photo of DC National Guard members in riot gear. Klux Klan hit, it reads: Don Triggers Mob & Rob Bid.

You shuffle the papers. Burning state of America, howls the Hindustan Times. Biden Win confirmed among pro-Trump mob attack, says The Hindu. The Indian Expresss take: prevails over the demo.

How do you feel about sending your child to America?

Like many of you last week, I’m sorry, I’m angry, I’m exhausted. I am amazed at my ability to be shocked any longer, but I am.

But this is an international education newsletter, so I’m going to focus on that. Watching the January 6 riots through this lens, well, that’s not good.

Over the past few weeks, I have spoken with people from the future of international education, on the question of whether the damage done to the reputation of the Americas abroad can be repaired.

Sadly, the assault on Capitol Hill could strengthen much of what concerns prospective students and their parents. An attack on the very heart of the US government underscores the current political uncertainty. And a man with a Confederate flag wandering the Ohio Clock Hall, he paints an ugly picture for those concerned about American racism and xenophobia.

What is clear, I think, is that even though there is a new occupant in the White House, the loopholes remain. President Trump will step down, but some Americans will still embrace his ethics of grievance, his “us versus them” posture.

For international editorial staff, President-elect Biden could mean new policies. Perceptions, however, may be slower to change.

Learn more about Karin in this latitude (s) of the week.

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