Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian confirmed that the government would allow the return of “a small number” of international students based on students’ majors for as long as they want to pursue their academic career in china. Beijing previously gave assurances over the return of students from Singapore, Malaysia, India and Pakistan without a deadline.
In a press conference, Zhao said China “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 criteria of the students’ majors”.
Furtherly, “If the Chinese government is ready to allow hundreds of thousands of international students to return, Thai students will be among the first,” ambassador Zhiqiang said.
Zhao did not specify which majors will be prioritised but added that students concerned must strictly meet accordingly with China’s epidemic prevention protocols. “China has taken these reasonable measures with a view to protecting the health and safety of all Chinese citizens as well as foreign nationals in China,” he said. “We hope and believe that we will have your understanding.”
A recent survey by China International Student Union found that students locked out of China have not been able to gain practical experience for their MBBS program by studying remotely. Source: Anthony Wallace/AFP
Positive signal for international students in China:
International students have not been allowed to enter China since March last year when the country closed its borders after the pandemic outbreak. The comments from the Chinese foreign ministry spokespersons serves as a positive signal that the Chinese government will allow the return of international students to China, his vague answers drew the ire of Twitter users. This is meant to be a great opportunity to study in China for Pakistani students as it also accepts students to study in China without IELTS and minimal requirements.
When pressed for clarification on how the basis student visas will be issued again from which country, Zhao reiterated: “As the tsunami of Omicron variant continues to rage across the world, China has taken reasonable and necessary prevention and control measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of Chinese citizens, foreign nationals in China as well as a small number of international students coming to China.
“We will consider in a coordinated manner the matter of foreign students returning to their classes in China, actively explore feasible options and gradually arrange for those with the need to return in an orderly fashion.”
On the final note, it is expected that the Chinese entry and exit bureau will notify international students about their return to Chinese universities in September 2022.