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 26, 2021 – May 10, 2021

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South Asia


Indian students in Canada to benefit for one-time immigration programme for 90,000 students

7th May 2021 | Times Now

Indian students will be the major beneficiaries of Canada’s new one-time immigration programme which opened for applications. Under the programme, over 90,000 international students and temporary essential workers, already in Canada, will be given permanent residence (PR). Under it, 40,000 international students, 30,000 temporary workers in selected essential occupations and 20,000 temporary workers in health care will get permanent residence. To be eligible, international students must have completed a post-secondary programme in Canada in the last four years. Foreign workers must have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a health care profession or another pre-approved essential occupation. Indian students will benefit proportionately more than others as they – numbering 220,000 last year – make up more than a third of all foreign students currently in Canada.

Relief for thousands of Indian students as US extends distance learning for foreign students

27th April 2021 | Economic Times

In a welcome move for thousands of Indian students enrolled at US universities and have been attending classes online from here, the US has decided to extend the exemptions to facilitate distance learning for non-immigrant students. In a notice published on Monday, Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a part of US Immigration and Customs n a notice published on Monday, Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a part of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said it would extend the guidance issued in March 2020, enabling schools and students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the continuing public health concerns created by COVID-19. This will apply to non-immigrant students who were actively enrolled at a US school as on March 9, 2020 and were compliant with terms of their non-immigrant status, whether inside the country or abroad.

Exam Updates

CBSE opens portals to upload class 10 students marks

10th May 2021 | ABP

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on May 10, activated the links for schools affiliated to CBSE boards to upload the marks of class 10 students. Schools can upload the marks of class 10 students online at cbse.gov.in on or before June 11. According to the marking policy released by CBSE on May 1, the board will declare the results of the CBSE class 10 board examination on June 20, 2021.

ICSE evaluation criteria for cancelled papers expected soon

10th May 2021 | NDTV

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has cancelled the Class 10 ICSE exams in response to the rising COVID-19 cases in the country. CISCE has asked schools to submit the average marks that ICSE students had obtained in Class 9 and Class 10 internal examinations in each subject so that the assessment criterion for preparing the results of the Class 10 students be formulated. The council is expected to announce the final evaluation criteria for the students of Class 10 soon. CISCE will declare the Class 10 results on the basis of a “fair and unbiased criterion”. The criterion on which basis the results will be declared for the ICSE (Class 10) students will be announced by the Council.

Grace marks for NEET-PG aspirants, nursing students engaged in COVID-19 duty

8th May 2021 | Indian Express

The Supreme Court (SC), pointed out the exhaustion being faced by the doctors and nurses on COVID-19 duty. The SC suggested that NEET-PG aspirants who are waiting to appear in the exam can be utilised. There are 150 thousand doctors waiting to appear in the NEET who have completed the medical course and their internship. Medical interns will be deployed in COVID-19 management duties under the supervision of their faculty. All final year MBBS students can be utilised for teleconsultation and monitoring of mild COVID-19 cases under the supervision of the faculty.

Mumbai University final year last semester exams begin on May 6

6th May 2021 | Free Press Journal

Over 155 thousand students will appear for the final year last semester examinations of arts, commerce and science Undergraduate (UG) programmes of the University of Mumbai (MU) of the academic year 2020-21 starting from May 6 via online mode. Over 450 degree colleges under MU will conduct these final year summer semester examinations completely via online mode using virtual exam conducting systems, proctoring software and digital assessment methods. Degree colleges have been instructed to complete these 45 exams of final year UG courses from May 6 to May 21 via online mode. The university has formed degree college groups or clusters of all the faculties for conducting the examinations. One college in each cluster has been given the responsibility as a lead college. There are 94 such lead colleges to overlook conduct of exams in more than 450 colleges.

JEE (Main) – May 2021 session postponed amid COVID-19 surge

4th May 2021 | LiveMint

Amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country, Union Education Minister announced that the Joint Entrance Exam – Main (JEE Main) – May 2021 session has been postponed. Students are advised to keep visiting the official website of NTA for further updates.

Delhi University final exams to commence from June 1

3rd May 2021 | India Today

Delhi University (DU) administration has postponed the final term-end examinations for all the students in view of the COVID-19 surge in the national capital. As per the earlier schedule, the exams for final-year students were set to begin on May 15. As per the latest notification issued by DU, the end-term exams for final-year students will now begin on June 1. The Delhi University will be issuing the date sheet for the semester exams on its official website soon.

Anna University postpones re-exams due to COVID-19 second wave

29th April 2021 | First Post

The Anna University has postponed the re-examinations which were scheduled to be held from 3 May. The decision was taken as a one-time measure in view of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new or revised dates of the re-test will be announced soon on the official website. Students who were unable to appear for the semester exams earlier would have appeared for the retests from 3 May through online mode.

YouTube Discussions

An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics

6th May 2021 | IDP

In this session experts have shared their views and opinions on opportunities available in the field of AI and Data Analytics for international students. Students and Parents will get information on why AI and Data Analytics are the courses of future to study if you are planning to study abroad.  Watch Video


Exam Updates

Government to hold SSC, HSC exams this year

30th April 2021 | Dhaka Tribune

Unlike last year, the government is planning to hold Secondary School Certificate (SSC), the Higher Secondary Certificates (HSC) and equivalent examinations this year, with the aim to avoid the “auto pass” method that created massive criticism. The Education Ministry has already finalized a policy and taken some steps in this regard. It is focused on arranging the two biggest public examinations under shortened syllabus, ensuring health norms by any means. Previously, the government announced reopening schools and colleges on May 23 if the COVID-19 pandemic can be controlled. If so, the SSC exams may be held in September or October and the HSC tests later this year.


Exam Updates

National Examinations Board suspends SEE, Grade 12 exams

10th May 2021 | The Himalayan Times

The National Examinations Board (NEB) has suspended the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) and examinations of Grade 12. A board meeting held which postponed the SEE and Grade 12 exams that were scheduled to start from May 27 and June 9 respectively, until further notice due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Sri Lanka

Exam Updates

Nearly 200,000 candidates of 2020 GCE A/L examination qualify to apply for universities

4th May 2021 | Colombo Page

The results of the 2020 GCE Advanced Level Examination held in October 2020 amid a second wave of COVID-19 was released on May 4. Commissioner General of Examinations said the candidates can obtain their results by accessing the official website of the Department of Examinations at www.doenets.lk and www.results.exams.gov.lk websites using their examination number or National Identity Card number. According to the Department of Examinations 301,771 candidates sat for the 2020 GCE Advanced Level Examination under old and new syllabuses and 194,297 have qualified to enter universities.

Southeast Asia


Exam Updates

UPSR and PT3 examinations cancelled for this year

28th April 2021 | Free Malaysia Today

The education ministry has cancelled the UPSR exams and the PT3 exams for this year. Education minister, in announcing the cancellations, said the ministry would introduce an alternative method to evaluate students who are supposed to sit for the two major examinations. Previously, educationists supporting the end of the UPSR had said the education system’s focus on exams meant that most of the time students simply memorised and regurgitated answers rather than learning to understand the subject matter.


Exam Updates

Vietnam maps out scenarios against COVID-19 for national high school exam

28th April 2021 | Vietnam Net

Prime Minister made the requirement at a recent working session with the MoET. He reminded the sector to implement pandemic prevention measures to ensure safety for more than 1.2 million teachers and nearly 24 million students at all levels nationwide amidst the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam’s education sector should take measures to fulfil the tasks assigned for the 2020-2021 academic year, including conducting the national high school graduation exams. The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) must develop scenarios in accordance with the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic when preparing for the national high school exam. Meanwhile, the sector should take measures to fulfil the tasks assigned for the 2020-2021 academic year, including conducting the national senior high school graduation exams


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