Published weekly, the COVID-19 Impact on South Asian students highlights news drawn from various sources focusing on South 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 on South Asian students covers news articles from August 31 – September 07, 2020.

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Indian students still harbour dreams to study abroad, says survey

05th September 2020 | The New Indian Express

According to a survey by an education consultancy platform, which asked 4,000 Indian students about studying in the UK, US, Canada, and Ireland, 35% of the students want to go to Canada for higher education in September 2020, and 33% of students voted for Ireland. Conversely, the survey by Edvoy also revealed that for the January 2021 intake, the US has been voted as the most preferred study destination, followed by Canada. The survey highlights 43% of the students have planned to go ahead with their education in the US and 35% to Canada. The survey showed that 42% of the students, aspiring to study in universities in the UK embrace the idea of a mix of face-to-face and online learning.

India takes up concerns of Indian students with China

02nd September 2020 | Live Mint

The Indian Embassy has taken up with the Chinese official’s concerns of a large number of Indian students studying in China following an official announcement that foreign students and teachers will not return to their colleges until further notice. Over 23,000 Indian students studied in different courses in Chinese universities and colleges as per the last year’s data. Of them, over 21,000 have enrolled to study MBBS. The Ministry of Education of China has published on its website that “all overseas students and teachers who have not received notice from their respective educational institutions will not return to their Colleges/Universities until further instructions”. The embassy has been taking up Indian students’ concerns with Chinese authorities including the Ministry of Education. The response of the Chinese authorities regarding their stand on the return of foreign students to China is awaited.

Flying to India for NEET amid COVID-19 risk stressful, impractical, says aspirants in Gulf nations

01st September 2020 | The New Indian Express

Travelling to India to write the medical entrance exam NEET is not only stressful but also impractical, several candidates in Gulf countries have said, citing the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the need to undergo a mandatory quarantine, among other issues. Some of them have decided the skip the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) altogether this year. While exam centres have been set up abroad for JEE Main, there is no such plan for NEET. Reaching India in time to be able to complete the mandatory quarantine period before the exam, arranging a stay before taking a flight back home, additional expenses, the risk of contracting COVID-19 and being quarantined again back home, are among several concerns on the mind of the aspirants.

Bangladesh: Students of the country’s public and private universities will be provided with month-long internet service

02nd September 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

In a bid to keep the online education activities going amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the University Grants Commission’s (UGC), Bangladesh, Research and Education Network (BdREN) project, aims to help students with their online education by providing them with month-long internet service at Tk100 (USD 1.18) by Teletalk. A student must have a Teletalk sim to avail of this facility and participate in online classes through the Zoom app. Students will have to recharge Tk100 every month, which will be credited to the mobile’s original account. One will be able to spend that balance over voice calls and data. The state-owned mobile phone operator expressed its hopes that a large number of students will come under its network during online classes through this initiative.

Nepal: School session to be completed even by reducing syllabus

02nd September 2020 | Nepal 24 Hours

Addressing a virtual interaction organised by All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), the Education Minister clarified that the school session would be completed within the timetable scheduled earlier by cutting on the syllabus although the classes could not be run due to COVID-19. He said the alternative learning facilitation guideline would be revised and the alternative learning would be made an integral part of the student evaluation and examination. The Education Minister also on the occasion shared that preparations are on for operating a separate dedicated educational television by the government for alternative learning. Student leaders had drawn the attention of Minister Pokharel regarding making the review of alternative learning more effective, to conduct the postponed exams from alternative methods, implementing the new curriculum in grade 11.

Youtube Discussions

What does the future hold for international student recruitment?

3rd September 2020 | Times Higher Education (THE)

Higher education is at a turning point as universities globally continue to grapple with the extent of the impact COVID-19 will have on higher education shortly. In an online session, Skyler Webster, director of product management, Western Union Business Solutions, examines how universities can reassure prospective international students about the benefits of studying abroad and ultimately, deliver value for money. Also, the session discusses how universities can turn a crisis into opportunity and diversify their recruitment strategies to attract a wider pool of talent. Watch Video

Exam Updates

Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main result likely to be announced by September 11

7th September 2020 | Times Now

JEE Main 2020 has been successfully conducted by the National Testing Agency. As per the official website, JEE Main Result is expected to be released by September 11, 2020. The official notice for the release of answer keys and results is still awaited and might change. NTA, along with JEE Main 2020 result, would also be releasing the JEE Main ranks. Admissions to National Institutes of Technology, NITs are done based on the JEE Main rank.

Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2020 Exam Dates Postponed

7th September 2020 | Jagran Josh

JEE Advanced 2020 Exam dates have been postponed by the exam conducting agency i.e. IIT Delhi. The revised schedule for IIT JEE Advanced 2020 states that the entrance test will now be held on 27th of September this year. According to media reports, the JEE Advanced 2020 exam dates have been postponed due to the possible delay in the declaration of JEE Main 2020 entrance exam results.

National Testing Agency (NTA) gears up for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)

7th September 2020 | The Hitavada

The National Testing Agency (NTA) is now gearing up for conducting the medical entrance exam NEET scheduled to be held on September 13 for which over 15 lakh candidates have registered. To maintain social distancing, the NTA has increased the number of centres from 2,546 to 3,843 for the NEET while the number of candidates per room has been reduced from earlier 24 to 12.

Bangalore University to hold special exams for foreign students

5th September 2020 | Deccan Herald

Bangalore University has decided to hold a special exam in December for those missing the regular exams scheduled in September. The decision has been taken specifically in the interest of international students pursuing various courses who had gone home due to the pandemic and are unable to return to take the final exams. Details provided by the varsity reveals that nearly 700 students are from countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, and countries of the Middle East. Local students will be permitted to give a special exam only if they have a genuine reason.

Maharashtra varsity exam in October; students to give the exam from home

1st September 2020 | Scroll

Maharashtra government has decided that the state universities including Mumbai University will conduct the university final year exams in the first week of October. The announcement was made by the Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant. The proposal to conduct the exam in October will be sent to the UGC soon. Samant said all the state universities will conduct the exam in such a way to make sure that students can give them from their home itself. This might include an online exam. open book exam, or assignment-based exam, adds the report. Universities will have to choose one of these ways to conduct the exam. The exam will also be conducted for fewer marks to ease the burden on the students.

Maharashtra Colleges, Universities to submit a detailed plan for holding exams to Govt soon

5th September 2020 | India

The Maharashtra government has directed all colleges and universities to submit their detailed plan for holding of the final-year exams amid the pandemic by September 7. This would enable the government to hold a meeting with the disaster management committee to decide on the steps needed to be taken against COVID-29 spread during the exam. Most of the final-year examinations are likely to take place in an online format, so, students have the comfort of appearing from their homes. The universities will decide as per their local situation on which option to select for conducting the exams.

Mumbai university final-year exams: One-hour tests for 50 marks

7th September 2020 | The Indian Express

After the Chancellor of all state universities, announced that a decision on the timetable and mode of conducting final-year exams needs to be taken by the statutory bodies (academic council and board of examinations) of each university, the University of Mumbai (MU) conducted its academic council meet and decided that the examinations for MU students will be limited to one hour, and will be for 50 marks. Only the part of the syllabus taught until March 13 will be considered for the exams.

Anna University to conduct the final year exams likely from the third week of September

4th September 2020 | Times of India

Following the government announcement on final year exams, Anna University asked around 500 engineering colleges to begin preparations for in-person exams. The university said it is planning to hold exams in the third week of September.
Students from different parts of the state would have the option of writing exams near their native places, sources said. The university was preparing for an online exam so students can take tests from their current locations. But the higher education department said exams will be held offline following the relaxation of lockdown in the state.

National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) 2020 admit cards have been released

4th September 2020 | First Post

NEST 2020 admit cards have been released on the official website – nest exam.in. Candidates who have registered for the exam can visit the official site to download the hall ticket. Those who qualify the exam are eligible for admission to the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) Bhubaneswar and the University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS). The exam will be conducted on September 29 and in around 90 cities across India.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) released the admit card for Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) OPENMAT 2020

3rd September 2020 | Times Now

NTA has released the admit card for IGNOU OPENMAT 2020 that is to be conducted on September 15, 2020, across the country. All those who have applied for the exams can download the admit card from the official website ignouexams.nta.nic.in.

Nepal: Tribhuvan University (TU) to conduct exams after Dashain (Dussehra)

31st August 2020 | Nepali Sansar

The Tribhuvan University (TU) has announced its decision to conduct semester and annual examinations after the Dashain festival. According to the Controller of Examinations, the university has completed all the preparations to conduct the postponed examinations after Dashain. Though the university had earlier prepared to conduct the exams before the Dashain festival, the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has persuaded the authorities to withdraw their decision. The Examination Controller’s Office will conduct annual exams while concerned faculties will conduct semester-based exams.


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