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China: no quick return for int’l students

Hopes among international students for a return to their campuses in China in the near future have been dashed as the country once again tightened its entry requirements earlier this month, banning non-nationals from 10 countries.

ChinaInternational students have been unable to return to the China for almost one year. Photo: Pexels

70% of XJTLU's international students are studying from abroad

Those holding valid visas and residence permits from Bangladesh, Belgium, Ethiopia, France, India, Italy, The Philippines, Russia, the UK and the Ukraine can no longer enter China.

Students themselves have not been granted access to the country since late March and are growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of communication and updates they are receiving.

“If China does not want us to come back they should announce it,” one student told The PIE News.

“If China does not want us to come back they should announce it”

“But they are not saying anything about students.”

Government spokesperson Wang Wenbin called the new measures “reasonable” and “in line with international practices” during a recent press conference.

China appears to have Covid-19 under control in most regions, with those in major cities reporting that even pub trivia nights are back on the weekly roster of events, which some put down to measures such as those at the border.

However students doing degrees in subjects like medicine have been particularly critical of China’s approach, arguing that online study is pointless for them as it will not be accepted when they apply to work in the field back home.

Another student called the process “mentally draining”. Frustration also stems from a sense that the treatment of Chinese international students going abroad and international students heading to China is very different.

They said that while some universities abroad are getting charter flights organised especially for Chinese students, their institutions don’t reply to messages.

The PIE contacted more than 40 locally-run universities in China but none agreed to an interview. One industry insider however was willing to offer their thoughts on the condition of anonymity.

“In some institutions the international students are sort of herded into a corner and left”

“In some institutions the international students are sort of herded into a corner and left. They deal with them almost as if they are rabid,” they said, adding they had heard of students looking to transfer to institutions with better reputations.

“Those universities which are more used to working with international students have better networks in place. They’ve got partnerships that are progressive and forward thinking, and they are doing things to help support their students.”

However some add that border openings are a moot point as in practical terms China’s strict entry requirements are “almost impossible” to comply with.

Aside from severely limited flights that can be cancelled at short notice, people are now required to have two Covid-19 tests no more than 48 hours before their flight. Going to China also requires test results from any country a passenger goes through, as well as 14 days of self-funded quarantine.

As such, it’s not just international students that can’t get back.

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou said that while 70% of its international students are studying from abroad, so were some of its Chinese students.

They were on study abroad in places like Europe earlier this year and have been unable to get back since.

“We try and make sure that every student has live tutorials or live seminars at least once in the week,” explained Stuart Perrin, associate principal of the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang).

“There are certain issues. For countries with internet access issues, trying to download long videos doesn’t work so we have to break everything up into blocks,” he continued.

“But we are dealing with it in a number of ways, very similar to the way that some other universities are dealing with things.”

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34 Responses to China: no quick return for int’l students

  1. It looks like Chinese universitiea are joking with us in the name of Online classes….they should kniw that there are several practicaks which are very essential to attend but they snatch away all our rights..
    Why they are humiliating only students why not deplomates
    Please help us we want back soon!!!

  2. Interestingly, India is the fourth-largest country sending students to China, with over 23,000 students enrolled in Chinese higher education institutions (over 21,000 are enrolled for medical degrees)

  3. China should put intl students into consideration, many are missing out a lot.
    They should at least make it known whether they’ll be reopening boarders soon or not

  4. WTF , any how we are testing the nuclic acid test before boarding atleast they can allow the final year students with negative test report of covid but they are not responding any thing .

  5. Chinese government and Indian government both are playing with the Carrier and life of students studying in china. No one is giving us importance, none speaks for us. Most of our students are depressed. They can open boarder for others but not for us. Why? Our flight to china will be only one way with proper test .

  6. If they don’t want us to comeback they gotta make it clear, we are struggling with this online studies in my country there is 7 hours of difference between here and china, we wake up at 2am to attend classes till 2pm and sometimes they just dont give us any importance we dont hear anything and no one is interacting with us. We have been dealing with this since last February. We cant do this for another year . They should at least make it clear to us and tel us whether we will comeback soon or not. Because to be honest imma drop out, me and my friends if they dont give us any response later this semester
    Also we pay universities the same as students who are in china, why are we paying if we aint gonna study? Why aren’t they giving importance to international students ?

  7. China should let us back during month of February 2021 we can quarantine during that time. Besides how long will we all wait? Covid is just a flu no need to be so scared it’s not the end of the world. If they don’t want us back till September 2021 at least make it clear so I can drop out and transfer to another country. Periodt.

  8. This is such a hard time for us as students. they are not at all taking into consideration that students at large need to be in their routine, attending classes face to face, attending to their practicals. the online thing was not meant to be a long term solution.
    it is not conducive and we are losing out on a lot being locked out.

    We are prepared to see out mandatory quarantine upon arrival, pay for our testing and present a negative test upon arrival.

    we are seriously losing out now. this has gone on far too long. China and Russia are being really unfair towards students. fees and accommodation have been paid and still they remain mute about students being able to return.

  9. As an international student I feel abandoned by the Chinese government. They honestly don’t even care about what happens to our futures. If they did they would at least speak about it or address the situation. Yet it’s been almost a year and we are constantly ignored. It’s one thing to say you cannot come until a certain time but to be ignored completely is different. We have been left in the dark continuously. It’s unfair and completely inhumane.

  10. We are paying tuition fees as if we are studying offline but actually we are learning nothing. Too much struggles. Time difference +psycho troubles due to the hard time we are having since covid has spread everywhere +we are not in touch with all our teachers which makes us so confused. We really need to go back and take our offline classes.

  11. Attending online studies is a mess since there’s no proper follow up and communication. And with all the internet issues I face here plus 7hours time difference and all the stress is very unpleasant. I am sick and tired of attending something I understand almost nothing about, *China tell us you will let us in before the new semester begins in March 2021 or watch us blackout*. We can’t be paying same lump sums of tuition with those attending immediate onsite studies and have no benefits of knowledge. For freshmen it become quite difficult for such learning system too. It has never been anyone’s intention to have studies done online but you lured us into it with hopes of reopening soon. I like studying but not this way. Keeping silent and giving a deaf ear to all our requests and grievances on this issue won’t help us out. We all hope you do something to arrange this issue accordingly as soon as possible.

  12. We are staying here last 1 year still we don’t know when will go back China we don’t have any information about related students
    We are medical students online classes is going on but we are not getting anything with online classes

  13. Please the chinese government should do something about the returning of their international students back to china
    We are seriously tired of waiting pls
    We have paid for our jw202 form for de past one year and they can’t do anything about it?!
    Please say something

  14. We have been waiting for the past one year for our reply from the Chinese government concerning our jw202 form but we haven’t heard from them
    Pls say something about the students visas and when they will start going to china for studies
    We are tired of Waiting

  15. now with the announcement of successfully trialed vaccine, there is no point of holding us back. hopefully in March 2021 with the new batches they will call us back. I HOPE !!!!

  16. We should make one hastag for it and to trend it on the Twitter and all the social media , i am same you all guy i am in 5 th year of MBBS and taking offline classs from 2 semester add to be honest I haven’t studied anything . So we should make on whatsapp group or Facebook group let start our initiative my whatsapp number is +86 18599639554

  17. This is the concern of Indian Government, who can take care. Both country should be very serious about the student educational loss. But I have seen lack of botheration. I urge to the government ,please do something for saving the carrier of MBBS students.

  18. i am a student in an ordinary unversity in china… i havent been able to go there, my university do me dirty and gives me nothing to learn. i paid for a huge amount of money for my tuitions but i learnt nothing. please do something, i cant graduate like this

  19. The Chinese government don’t care about us 🙂and idk why they let just south korean students to enter china it’s unfair 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️

  20. If only they can say something about the situation and address us on what is on ground to know where we stand.
    Online classes isn’t the best …
    I have done two semesters at home but learned a little, like a little.
    The way they are ignoring us isn’t good for us please.

  21. China needs to take some responsibility of int’l students, it was one of the first countries to get Covid-19 under control! Already been a tough year for those who were supposed to graduate in 2020 but couldn’t because Chinese medical universities didn’t have a plan B! All authorities remain mute about their plans, this is a harassment for students and not great for their mental health. Please help us out

  22. When can Malaysian student go back to China for study? I has been waiting for one year and do nothing at home. I have just graduate online and can apply for degree at China ?

  23. What’s going on Chinese government?
    You totally telling us nothing, neither feeding us with
    any information.
    We’re tired of this drama.

  24. take us back to school
    we are suffering especially all foriegn students.
    online class is lack of knowledge due to situation about internet connection failure and distribution.
    We just need your acceptance of returning back to China.
    This is our second home were heart is belong too.🥺❤

  25. Yes, this is so frustrating. Why making it so hard?, International students have suffered for 1 year without been at their universities, 2021 might be another year again of loss studies while their local students are happily attending local universities ,imagine the mental break down felt by these students who are missing out on University education because Chinese borders are still closed. Just allow international students to enter China but they will go through and follow strict COVID19 quarantine checks before been they are allowed to enter their universities, whats so hard about that ?..I though China is super powerful to handle any threats even of COVID19 but it looks like it is over powered by COVID19, Sorry state.

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