Small Number of International Students Expected to Return to China

China, Shanghai

Some international students with “actual needs” who remain in their countries may be able to enter China soon following reports that China has issued visas to a group of Pakistani students.

In a press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China is making arrangements to return a small number of international students with actual needs as the epidemic situation changes.

“On the basis of ensuring safety, it is coordinating arrangements for a small number of foreign students with actual needs to return to China in light of the changing international epidemic situation and the characteristics of the students’ majors,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told media in Beijing.

Lijian stressed that students returning to the country should adhere to China’s epidemic prevention policy.

Previously, China assured India that it would work towards returning 23,000 Indian students and that the latter would not be discriminated.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of China has assured the Embassy that they are cognizant of the welfare of all foreign students, including Indian students, and have also conveyed that they will work on their early return to China in a coordinated manner and will continue contact with the Embassy on this matter,” the Indian Embassy in Beijing said on February 22.

However, Global Admissions, a website supporting students through the study decision-making process and providing information to them about travel restrictions in study destinations, has recently stated that China remains the only country to keep borders closed to international students.

“Students are not allowed to enter China. There are some exceptions for students from South Korea, and those studying at New York University Shanghai, Tianjin Juilliard, some Schwarzman Scholarship students,30 Nicaraguan scholarship holders,” the website said.

Due to border closure, the majority of China’s international students have reported financial and physical stress.

A survey conducted by China International Student Union (CISU), an independent body representing international students in China, named “How the China Travel Ban has Affected the Lives of International Students,” has revealed that 53 percent of students have experienced serious mental health issues due to the China travel ban.

The survey, among others, revealed that 47 percent of students could not manage to complete their university credits while 37 percent were unable to support themselves.

95 percent of students participating in the survey said they are vaccinated and many expressed readiness to quarantine if required.  

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