Since March 2020, when China closed its borders to most foreigners as the virus spread worldwide, nearly half a million international students have been shut out of the country.
Many students have had to work part-time to support themselves and their families while juggling classes held in different time zones and delivered over intermittent internet connections.
- Since March 2020, around half a million international students have been prevented from entering China because of the pandemic.
- The Chinese government has declared numerous times that it intends to continue its research in China.
- No official date has been set for when China’s borders would reopen to international students.
It has been reported that students in South Korea and other international universities have been allowed to return, while hundreds of thousands of South Asian and Southeast Asian students are still awaiting their turn, as China’s zero-COVID policy continues to impose harsh border restrictions.
In 2018, China welcomed more than 140,000 international students from South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The Chinese government has repeatedly stated that it is committed to continuing its research in China.
However, with the omicron variant spreading quickly and early findings suggesting it may elude natural immunity and raise the risk of reinfection, their return may be a long way off.
China recently stated that students from the ten ASEAN countries would be given priority when returning to China, but no further specifics were provided.
It can be recalled that after being forced to leave the country because of the pandemic, two international universities in China have informed their international students that they can expect to return to school as early as March.
While no official date has been set for when China’s borders would reopen to international students, Duke Kunshan University in Suzhou and New York University Shanghai have both sent out emails indicating that students may be able to return to campus in time for the upcoming semester.
According to Time, a government consultant thinks that after hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics, China would gradually ease its rigorous approach to limiting COVID-19.
Henry Wang Huiyao of China’s State Council suggested that stronger cooperation between Washington, Beijing, and the World Health Organization could help his country reopen.
MSM Unify is your one-stop source platform that connects students, higher education institutions, and agents in China and worldwide. Sign up now to get the latest updates and information on international education.