G1440 Inc., a Columbia-based technology company, said yesterday that the Johns Hopkins University would use a new product it is developing to track student visas.
The new technology is designed to help universities comply with a federal law that requires information about student visas to be collected and reported to the government electronically by January 2003. It is scheduled for installation at Hopkins in April.
G1440, which has an office in Canton, focuses on business strategy, marketing and software development. The company has created a separate business unit to develop and market the product to other schools around the country, said G1440 Chief Executive Officer Larry Fiorino.
"Our view is that each school that uses our tool would have control of their data at their school," he said.
Fiorino said the company hopes the new unit of G1440 will eventually develop other technologies for colleges. For now, other universities have expressed interest in the tool that was developed for Hopkins, he said.
The technology is a Web-based program that allows schools to streamline information, track changes and report data to government agencies about international students and their visas.
Though the federal law was passed in 1996, the topic of student visas has been gaining more national attention since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
Murray Welsh-Lofts, director of the office of international student, faculty and staff services at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, said the school planned to develop a database after the law was passed. It hired G1440 last summer.
"It really is a benefit for everybody, plus it will cut down on our paperwork in our office immensely," she said. "So it makes a lot of sense"