Thousands of international students in China have written an open letter to the Chinese government demanding a clear schedule for their phase-wise return to their campuses. In the letter posted on Facebook, claimed to have been signed by thousands of overseas students, raise a demand for their case to be considered as an education emergency. As it has been more than a year since the pandemic, students urge to be allowed to return back like other international travellers and business people.
Tens of thousands of international students waiting for the last one year to return to their universities in #China write open letter to Chinese govt demanding a clear schedule for their phase wise return to their campuses. pic.twitter.com/cm6Mu3ZLQE— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) January 19, 2021
According to students, due to lack of lab experiments, issues related to time zone differences, lack of direct communication between teachers and students, slow internet and bad electricity supply in many countries, it has become practically impossible to continue studies in online mode. Without giving any appropriate reasons and them breaking any regulations, the Chinese Scholarship Authority has suspended the scholarship which has also caused difficulty to many students.
The students with educational loans are facing immense financial burden due to delay in their studies. As per the open letter, the students have written several emails and sent hard copy letters to various Chinese authorities, but not receives any official update. Students have assured to follow all the COVID guidelines of the Chinese government.
Without giving any clarity, Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China attaches high importance to the protection of rights of the overseas students. The ministry said, 'China will handle the matter in a coordinated and overall manner. We have to take into account many factors and priority for us is to join hands to fight against the COVID-19', AIR news reported.
Over 23,000 Indian students pursuing their higher studies in China are under tremendous pressure as they have lost one precious year. China has lakhs of international students and most are out of the country at the moment. Since COVID-19 first broke out, and border restrictions came into place in March 2020, many international students studying in China have found themselves locked out of the country who went back to their home countries during winter vacations in 2020. After China saw success in its COVID control measures in 2020 and started to slowly relax border control and allow non-Chinese nationals to return for family, business or work-related issues, the majority of international students were not allowed.
With the revival of COVID-19 cases in China, Citing strict control measures authorities have further reinforced the epidemic controls and restrictions on travel and entry into China.