While Indian students enrolled in medical courses in China were looking forward to practical experience after completing three semesters online, they are now gearing up for another semester online.
In June, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asked students stuck in India due to the pandemic to write to its Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) office about Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and mobility issues faced in reaching out to their university.
The students, thereafter, had written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the Indian government to intervene in the matter and facilitate the return of students to China.
However, nothing much has come out of it as China continues to impose a travel ban on international students and no communication has been made from the university regarding their return to campuses.
With the new semester ready to kick off in the next few weeks, students have been mentally stressed about the uncertainty in the tentative date of return, said students in the open letter.
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Students enrolled in Chinese universities returned to India amid a raging pandemic as the universities announced lockdowns. Although it has been more than a year now, they have not been able to return to campuses because of the current travel restrictions.
Earlier in 2021, more than 20,000 students wrote a letter and approached the United Nations (UN) with a hope that it would ensure a positive development. These undergraduate, medical and graduate students enrolled in universities in Australia, China and Japan, urged the UN to intervene and help lift the current border restrictions that have forced thousands of international students to be stranded in their home countries for one whole year.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), China welcomed around 500,000 international students in 2018 and 2019 each, making it the third-highest after the US and the UK.
Over 23,000 students from India came to China for higher education, representing the fourth largest group of international students, after South Korea, Thailand and Pakistan.
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