Published weekly, the COVID-19 Impact on South and South-East Asian students highlights news drawn from various sources focusing on South and South-East Asian students who are studying abroad and the ones who aspire to study abroad during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This edition of the COVID-19 Impact covers news articles from April 12, 2021 – April 26, 2021

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South Asia


Issuing visas to students planning to study in USA is priority: US Embassy

25th April 2021 | The Free Press Journal

Despite the curbs enforced and the reduced staff capacity due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States Embassy and Consulate General in India has strived to issue visas to students planning to study in the United States of America (USA) on priority. Students who are planning to pursue various study programmes at different levels in the country for the academic year 2021-22 are encouraged to apply for their visas. As per the data reports of the US Department of State-Bureau of Consular Affairs, 15,323 F-1 (which is the visa required for a student academic or language training programme in the USA) or student visas were issued to Indian students for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 calculated from October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020 by the United States Embassy and Consulate General in India. While in FY 2019, 43,714 F-1 or student visas were issued to Indian students. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak in India last year, the number of student visas issued rose to 8,493 F-1 in December, 2020, as compared to 5,038 F-1 issued in December, 2019.

France aims to attract 20,000 Indian students by 2025

14th April 2021 | The Indian Express

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the country has set a target of having 20,000 Indian students in France by 2025. There were 10,000 Indian students studying in the European nation in 2019, according to officials at the French Embassy. The minister was speaking at an event at the French Embassy where he appointed 15 Alumni Ambassadors chosen from the prestigious France Alumni network to boost student mobility between the two countries.

Exam Updates

ICSE class 10 board exam cancelled, ISC class 12 board exam postponed

20th April 2021 | Zee Business

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has decided to cancel the ICSE class 10 board exams. The ISC class 12 board exams have been postponed as of now. A final decision regarding the conduct of the ISC class 12 board exams will be taken after a thorough review of the COVID-19 situation of the country by the first week of June, 2021. Regarding the results for the ICSE class 10 board exam candidates, the CISCE stated that the CISCE is committed in devising ‘a fair and an unbiased criterion’ on the basis of which the results for the ICSE class 10 board exam candidates will be declared. The date for the announcement of ICSE class 10 results will be informed later by CISCE.

Anna University to conduct open book exams

19th April 2021 | The New Indian Express

Anna University has announced that its April/May 2021 theory end-semester exams for all even semesters (2, 4 and 6) will be an ‘Open Book Type’ for all UG and PG students in its university departments. The open book exam is, however, not applicable for final-semester students. The university said the first section of the exam, Part A, for a total of 10 marks, will have five two-mark questions one from each chapter. The second part, for 40 marks, will have five eight-mark questions one from each chapter.

Government postpones JEE Main, new dates to be announced soon

18th April 2021 | LiveMint

The Joint Entrance Exam: Main, which was slated to be held at the end of April, was postponed amid rising number of COVID-19 cases. The education ministry directed National Testing Agency to postpone the examination, conducted for admission to engineering colleges in India, it said. Fresh dates will be announced after reviewing the situation but at least 15 days’ notice will be given before the examination.

Mumbai University PET Result Declared for Admission to MPhil, PhD courses

18th April 2021 | News 18

University of Mumbai (MU) has declared the result for PET (PhD Entrance Tes) at its official website mu.ac.in. The entrance test was held online for admission to PhD and MPhil courses. Students will be able to view their exam results with the help of the link, user ID, and password provided to them during the exam. A total of 4,304 students have passed the PET 2021. Students will be able to check results from the link they have appeared for the exam from. As many as 7706 students had appeared for PhD exams. MU PET was held from March 25 to 27.

NEET PG 2021 postponed amid COVID-19 spike, new date will be announced later

15th April 2021 | Hindustan Times

The National Eligibility cum Entrance test for post graduate students, scheduled to be held on April 18, has been postponed for the time being, in view of the rising COVID-19 cases. NEET PG examination is for doctors seeking admission in MS, MD courses. The examination was earlier scheduled to be held in January but was postponed because of the pandemic.

CBSE postpones Class 12 exams, cancels Class 10 exams

14th April 2021 | The Hindu

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Class 12 examinations of the CBSE have been postponed while the Class 10 examinations have been cancelled. The CBSE will review the situation on June 1. A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of the examinations. For Class 10 students, results will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the Board. Any candidate who is not satisfied with the allocated marks will be allowed to write an exam as and when conditions are conducive.

Delhi University Exams 2021: Date sheet released for Undergraduate Semester Exam 2021

12th April 2021 | Times Now

The University of Delhi (DU) has released the tentative exam date sheets for the undergraduate (UG) exams for the academic semester of 2021. The DU exam date sheets are for the BA, BSc, BCom programmes for the second and fourth-semester students. The DU date sheet for Undergraduate exams 2021 is available on the official website of the university, du.ac.in The Undergraduate exams for Delhi University will begin on May 18 and will be held till June 6. For the students who were admitted in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, exams for most of the courses will start from May 15, 2021.

YouTube Discussions

Scholarships In Canada 2021

16th April 2021 | Leap Scholar

Scholarships for Indian students to study in Canada are one of the most important pieces of information you must know before you make a decision to study abroad. This video series answers all the queries of students and parents regarding scholarships for Indian students offered in Canada so that they can plan their study abroad in Canada and also ease the financial burden with scholarships while they study in Canada. Watch Video


Exam Updates

Schools assess grades as no O, A level exams to be held in Bangladesh

26th April 2021 | New Age BD

Local schools operating under the British education boards Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson Edexcel are now assessing grades of an estimated 16,000 candidates of O-level, A-level and equivalent examinations. Schools are assessing the grades as the government did not allow Cambridge to hold scheduled examination on April 26 amid the Covid-19 outbreak in Bangladesh while Pearson in February cancelled its International General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is equivalent to O-level, and International AS/A-Level globally, according to the British Council, Bangladesh.


Exam Updates

Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal opens admissions for MBBS programme

17th April 2021 | The Times of India

Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal has opens admissions for their MBBS programme. International applications for the 34th Batch of MBBS programme at Manipal College of Medical Sciences, have commenced. The college will accept online applications on entrance.mec.gov.np. To be considered eligible for selection to the MBBS programme, students must have qualified 10+2. A Level or equivalent examination, with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (PCB).

Sri Lanka

Exam Updates

All universities to reopen on April 27

19th April 2021 | Colombo Page

Minister of Education announced that a decision has been taken to reopen all universities in Sri Lanka on April 27. Classes will start for the third year and fourth-year students and classes will gradually be opened for the first year and second-year students afterwards. Accordingly, classes with 15 students should be held every day of the week. The classes having 16 to 30 students must be divided into two groups and the classes must be held every other week. The classes having more than 30 students must be divided into three groups and classes must be held for an equal number of days.

Southeast Asia


Apart from schools, other educational institutions in Sarawak’s red zones also closed for two weeks

19th April 2021 | Malay Mail

The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) explained that all educational institutions under the federal Ministry of Education (MoE) in the COVID-19’s red zones in the state are also ordered to close for two weeks beginning tomorrow. In a statement, SDMC said the private educational institutions registered with the ministry will also be ordered to close until May 3. SDMC said only students sitting for their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) are allowed to attend schools to take their tests.

Exam Updates

Online programme to help KSSM students

13th April 2021 | The Star

This is the first year that Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) is tested under the new education syllabus known as Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah (KSSM). The curriculum takes over the long-standing Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah (KBSM) syllabus, the education standard for decades in Malaysia. The change in syllabus entails an expansion of the subject learning content, some more than others. The five-month online intensive class, starting on May 31, is aimed at helping the vast majority of students who are feeling anxious and under-prepared to face the new SPM examinations this year. The SPM Accelerate programme will cover the entire Form Four and Form Five KSSM syllabus. Students can choose to join up to six subjects, namely Bahasa Melayu, Sejarah, Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Prices are highly affordable and start as low as RM16 per subject per month. Teachers brought onboard this programme are engaging and well-versed in teaching online. They have years of subject expertise and, more importantly, are very familiar with the latest SPM exam scheme.

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