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 September 28 – October 05, 2020.

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COVID-19 ruined students’ dreams of studying abroad, says survey

05th October 2020 | The New Indian Express

The negative impact of the pandemic is felt despite Indian students’ high propensity towards international travel, says a survey. An analysis report on the future of education by EDHEC Business School says that 91% of those surveyed declared that they will probably limit their travel in the years to come because of the pandemic. Students also believe the pandemic will impact the delivery of higher education for years to come as 82% estimate growth in disciplines like healthcare (66%) and social economics (51%). Also, 91% agree teaching will be dispensed remotely — at least partially (45%). Of the 1,071 Indian respondents, Bengaluru weighs 11% in the sample. India ranks their higher education system as satisfactory—whether concerning the education they received (86%, including 43% very satisfied) or current higher education system (85% say it is high quality, 48% fully agree). Students also perceived the concrete consequences of involving new technologies in higher education.

US universities woo Indian students, waive GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)

04th October 2020 | The Times of India

US Universities are looking out of their way to convince students that US education remained the best even during a pandemic. To woo students, a majority of universities have waived the GRE for their programmes and many are offering remote learning options. University of Michigan and Chatham University have said that most of their programmes did not require the GRE. The representatives of these universities clarified that test score requirements have been waived for all applicants to part-time programs for spring 2021. In most universities, a decision on fall 2021 requirements is yet to be made.

Pause on foreign study, more CBSE high scorers give an edge to Indian varsities

04th October 2020 | Live Mint

Students’ hesitation to study aboard due to COVID-19 this year and doubling of high scorers in CBSE board exam are bringing cheer to Indian universities this admission season. Though the admission has got delayed due to the pandemic, higher educational institutions are readying to start their new session in November. And leading universities said they are getting a bigger pool of candidates to select from due to the combination of the students’ performance and pandemic induced curb on brain drain. While Delhi University has seen massive growth in registration of fresh applicants – from 367,895 in 2019 to 563,125 in 2020, a 53% growth, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Tamil Nadu and Marwadi University in Gujarat said that they have witnessed around 10% growth in applications and the admission process is still on. Experts and academicians argue that while the situation is healthy, universities must strive to measure up to the expectations and seize the opportunity by making education holistic and mapping their offerings with best universities worldwide.

UK university offers new online diabetes course, 100 Indian students join

03rd October 2020 | Careers 360

Around 100 Indian students have enrolled for a UK university’s newly-launched online course focussed on supporting people living with diabetes and leading new research into the condition. Birmingham City University launched its new Master’s Degree in Advancing Diabetes Care in partnership with the University Hospitals Birmingham Diabetes Team this week. The course is aimed at helping healthcare professionals develop specialist skills and techniques to enhance the level of care provided to people living with diabetes. The first cohort of students taking up their places on the course are based in India and are sponsored by Mumbai-headquartered pharmaceutical company Lupin Pharmaceuticals. According to figures quoted by the university, India is home to nearly 77 million people with diabetes and the course has been designed to further research and development into diabetes care, particularly with COVID-19 causing a disproportionate mortality rate for people with diabetes.

Education loans drop as COVID shuts admissions

30th September 2020 | The Times of India

The Covid-19 pandemic has turned 2020 into a reboot year for the education loan business with the first quarter being a washout due to the lockdown. According to the country’s second-largest education loan company, Avanse, while growth has been hit, lenders are not fearing defaults in their high-value loan for overseas education. This is because the Indian diaspora is focused on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education stream where employment opportunities are much better than average. The total educational loan market in India is INR 93,000 crore (USD 12.69 billion) with the bulk of the loans with banks. For banks, education loans — which stood at INR 68,229(USD 9.3 billion) crore in end-September 2019 — have shrunk to INR 65,100 (USD 8.87 billion) crore in end-July 2020. In value terms, a large chunk of these loans is for higher education overseas. Tougher visa norms have already taken a toll with loans coming down from a peak of INR 72,000 crore (USD 9.82 billion) in September 2017.

Youtube Discussions

Effects on GRE and USA Education post COVID-19

2nd October 2020 | Conduira Online

In this session, listen to the expert discussing the 2021 and 2022 admission to US Schools. The expert has suggested steps that need to be taken to get admission/scholarships, and also the impact of the 2019 deferment and the USA Presidential Elections. This session helps students with clarity on both US Education, as well as on career. Watch Video

Exam Updates


Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2020 results declared; seat allocation process to begin

5th October 2020 | Zee News

The results of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced 2020 was declared on October 5, 2020, on IIT JEE Official website. Candidates who appeared for the IIT-JEE exam 2020 can now check their score by visiting the official website – jeeadv.ac.in. Candidates can check their JEE Advanced 2020 results by entering their required credentials on the official website of JEE Advanced. Following the declaration of the result, the seat allocation process, counselling registration process, will begin on October 6 and continue till November 9.

JNU entrance test begins on October 5, over 200 thousand candidates registered

5th October 2020 | Times of India

The entrance test for admissions to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will begin from October 5. The computer-based test, which is being organised by National Testing Agency (NTA), will be conducted for 101 streams from October 5-8 in two shifts daily. The examination will be conducted at 358 centres in 121 cities across the country for which 234,048 candidates have registered. Of them, 56, 393 will be taking the test on the first day, 72, 455 on the second, 38, 810 on the third and 66, 390 on the last day.

Mumbai University final year exam being held online despite challenges

4th October 2020 | Hindustan Times

Interruption in internet connectivity, power outages and other disruptions like computers and mobiles hanging in the middle of the examination are some problems faced by students appearing for University of Mumbai final year exams, being held online due to COVID-19 crisis. Colleges on their side are trying to tackle some of the issues faced in organising online examinations by allocating more manpower to operate helplines, conducting a series of mock tests and continuous invigilation during the tests. While several affiliated colleges to Mumbai University started online exams from October 1 itself, others have decided to conduct exams starting the coming week. Most colleges are using a combination of software and applications in order to ensure invigilation during the exam. Final year (summer 2020) exams for all state universities have to be conducted online this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Close to 230 thousand students from the University of Mumbai will be appearing for exams online this year.

Over 93% of Anna varsity students take tests online

1st October 2020 | The Hindu

Over 93% of students from affiliated colleges and 98% of students from the four University departments took the end-semester exams online. The exams were held after much debate and trepidation about students lacking technical prowess, required gadgets and equipment to take the tests. The exams for final-year students were held from September 24 to 29. During this time, of the 419,214 exams held, 391,379 were completed, said the controller of examinations.

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Result 2020: National Testing Agency (NTA)Announces Official Date for Final Results

30th September 2020 | India

The National Testing Agency has announced the dates for the results of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020 examination conducted on September 13. The NEET 2020 result will be declared through online mode on October 12. Candidates who appeared for the NEET 2020 exam will be able to access their result on the official website – nta.ac.in.

Mumbai University Final Year Exam 2020 students to get grace marks in online examinations

30th September 2020 | Times Now

Mumbai University has directed all the affiliated colleges to give grace marks to students who would appear for Mumbai University Final Year Exam 2020. The varsity has asked the colleges to give grace marks in the online exams in MCQ format whenever required and in consultation with the lead colleges in their clusters. This decision was taken after many college principals felt that it is necessary to give grace marks despite being contentious as students are appearing for the exam in a new format for the first time.


Bangladesh: Bangladesh kicks off online classes for college students

04th October 2020 | BD News 24

Education Minister Dipu Moni have virtually inaugurated the online sessions for the 2020-21 academic year during a programme organised by Dhaka College. Apart from textbooks, Dipu Moni stressed the need to read books in general to enrich one’s knowledge of history and culture. Deputy Minister of Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury congratulated the students who were about to embark on the next phase of their academic journey.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh government considering three evaluation models for HSC, equivalent exams

30th September 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The Ministry of Education has prepared three alternative evaluation models for the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry has prepared the evaluation models as substitutes for the regular models of the HSC and equivalent exams in the event the situation requires such a move. The first alternative is to take exams on all subjects, but exam time and total marks will be reduced. Two tests may be taken in a day in that situation. The second option is to take exams on selected subjects which are most important. In this case, the subjects that are not selected for physical exams will be evaluated based on the mark sheets of previous tests, such as Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Junior School Certificate (JSC) exams. The third option is to cancel the HSC examination. In this situation, HSC examinees of this year will be evaluated based on the mark sheets of their SSC and JSC exams.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level examinations to start from October 12

29th September 2020 | Daily News

The Advanced Level Examination will be held from October 12 to November 6 at 2,648 examination centres countrywide with the participation of 362,824 candidates. According to the Examinations Department sources, the examination will be held under two syllabi as new and old. Of the 362,824 candidates, 319,485 will face the examination under new syllabus while the balance of 43,339 candidates will face the examination under old syllabus. Of the 319,485candidates who face the examination under new syllabus, 277,580 are school candidates while 41,905 are private candidates.

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