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China: students frustrated by lack of support

International students unable to return to their studies in China are putting pressure on their embassies to ask the Chinese government to relax border restrictions, arguing that online courses are not of a high standard.

ChinaStudents are calling to be allowed back into China to continue their studies. Photo: Pixabay

492,185 international students studied in China in 2018

Over the last few weeks, China has been reopening its borders to some foreign nationals but not student visa holders. The country is the third-largest destination for international students globally, with 492,185 studying in there in 2018.

“Universities aren’t contacting us. If we message them, they don’t reply”

“This year for winter holidays I came home and have been waiting for my return for nine or 10 months,” a Pakistani student studying with a university in Wuhan told The PIE News.

“We’ve been getting classes online but the standard is very low. The Chinese teachers always say ‘sorry, my English is not good’,” he continued.

“Universities aren’t contacting us. If we message them, they don’t reply. Chinese students keep going to the UK [and elsewhere] for studies, there are even flights just for them, but they are not doing anything for international students.”

Several students The PIE spoke with noted a lack of communication from their schools and “poor management” of the situation.

“It’s been nine months of [being] stuck here, watching classmates in China… while I sit back, watch online videos and pray to join them soon,” said another student.

MBBS medical courses are a popular option for international students in China.

However, students have said that their courses cannot be done online, pointing to the fact that many campuses around the world have allowed students needing to do lab work to come on campus even while other courses are remote.

“We need labs. We need at most some hospital visits. No one in the world accepts an MBBS done with online classes,” said a student from Qingdao University in eastern China.

Those who remained in China during lockdown found themselves subject to stricter lockdown rules than local residents.

Because the timing of the outbreak coincided with the winter holidays, many students had returned home or were visiting other parts of the country. Those still in China were told not to return to campuses, forcing them to find and finance their own accommodation.

For those that were abroad, there is still no sign of when they will be allowed to return, with some anticipating it will not be before the next semester in 2021.

According to a note obtained by The Hindustan Times, China’s Ministry of Education told the Indian Embassy in Beijing that “it is suggested that students should maintain close contact with relevant Chinese colleges and universities and arrange to study in China in strict accordance with the suggestions and guidance of the colleges [and] universities.”

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16 Responses to China: students frustrated by lack of support

  1. am also an Mbbs student 2015 batch still not able to do my internship..finish 5 yr and wasted these months..Kindley allow international students to return to china colleges..Ready to quarantine as per the rules..vaccine is not ready but can’t predict when it comes so please don’t wait for that..

  2. No one has given time to listen to the challenges international students are facing. But we hope after the holiday of October international students are considered to return to china. We don’t want to study online can’t they just understand it. We are in our final year all our classmates are back to class .

  3. They keep saying we shall send you a notice . For nine months now we are here . It’s not fair we pay rent every month for places we don’t stay . It would be polite if they let us know if we are not coming back than keep us waiting like this.

  4. Many of the students are stuck half way in their internship.every other countries are allowing don’t know why China isn’t allowing us back atleast medical students should be allowed

  5. This is really frustrating why this Chinese people don’t value their international students infact you have to know that when those people go out after studying they also represents China basically why you don’t value your international students make first priority encourage them all …But you stop them for not entry your country because of the covid 19 sure the pandemic it’s real but their are precautions too give the same precautions to some foreigners that you allowed to enter your country those students some of them have payed their tuition fees and accommodations so you mean they are going to lost all that what they have payed for? Stop the selfish treat people equally don’t be biase even the online classes its a big mess ,very poor especially for international students in Africa students are stranding they wanted to go back to China to finish their courses you know i mean.

  6. We Masters MBA students really need to attend classes not online, there’s alot of difficulties studying online, the major ones are poor network, data expenses, time differences, it’s 3.30pm Beijing time and it’s 4am early morning. Those situation gives us hard time to study online, and this is Masters Program, and what about PHD?.. Therefore, I really beg the Chinese Government please do consider and allow international students return back to China..

  7. Online classes can never be compared to the normal classes …first it’s time difference, imagine sometimes i wake up at midnight for class that’s not fair…i will never pay full school fees for online classes…sometimes network is tripping, it’s so hard to understand online. Just get us back to school, I don’t get why allowing business people and others to enter in China but not students 🙄!! Are we the one carrying the virus?? It doesn’t make sense at all

  8. Yessss . we need to go back although i feel like ;in next step they will call students of final year and with research work first and students like me will be called back after this semester.But online study is mess.we cant learn properly…They should atleast give us some notice any kind of notification that explains about specific time period that we have to stay here.So that we should know and plan further about going back.

  9. We really wants to go back to china , can you help is to deliver our message to any chinese media or chinese that they can take a step towards foreign students.

  10. Now USA & Canada both announced foreign students can return, but students are still left hanging with no news from China. I am a worried parent waiting patiently for answers. Medical & research grad students can’t study online. They need labs, practicals & ward rotations. Our children’s futures are at risk. They are losing 2 semesters, which is depressing. Don’t waste the next generation of doctors and scientists!!!

  11. Some time i feel to chose China for studies was the worst decision of my life, because if you accept foreign students then its your duty to facilitate them in required manner, Second china thinks that students are the carriers of Virus. third can china stop investment, investors for a single day? No because Investors are the Virus Vaccine for China.

  12. They are so mean , they don’t have any concern about our future and degree they just care about there economy, they also care about there own chinese students not us , its so hurting and disappointing behavior. They are not giving any specific answer or date of return.

  13. It’s really frustration the way internationals students are being treated. It has been 9 months since international student are out of China. Isn’t it the responsibility of Chinese government, university to give proper education to students? Why this country is being so irresponsible to international students?

  14. What about those students that apply for the setember intake for 2020, will there be any visa for then this year?

  15. China is almost free from coronavirus. Some Nepali Medical students have completed their 5 years course, but only the final year examination is left. This final examination is delayed due to coronavirus. This examination must be taken as soon as possible. The Guangzhou Medical University should take action immediately. The students’s visa has expired and also the residence visa has expire. They are at present not in China. They must be called back at once to complete the last final examination. The Chinese Government must look into this case seriously and reopen the College, call the students back for November class./examination.Please kindly send notification to my email address soon. Thank you.

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