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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 October 12 – 19, 2020.

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India—Indian students adjust to blended learning at UK universities

19th October 2020 | The Tribune

A significant cohort of students from India has managed to travel to the UK despite COVID-19 restrictions to take up courses across universities and are adjusting to the blended learning approach of a mix of online and in-person teaching, according to an analysis of the first few weeks of the new academic term. Universities UK, which represents 139 universities across Britain, released the latest data, and insights from universities indicate that a higher number of international students have been placed at UK universities than was initially expected. As the 2020-21 autumn term got underway this month, they collated reports of universities putting in place a range of dedicated support measures for students flying in from overseas, including India. It remains to be seen how the pandemic would impact these numbers, but universities hope their blended approach to teaching alongside the new post-study work offer would help safeguard the robust demand for the UK’s higher education sector among Indian students.


India—Students flying back to campuses abroad

15th October 2020 | The Times of India

The pandemic continues to rage across the world, and many universities are offering the option of doing the courses online. But many Indian students have returned to their university campuses abroad as they feel virtual classrooms don’t offer the complete experience of studying in a foreign campus. Students do have the option of attending classes online from home. But they choose to travel since studying abroad is not just about academics, it also means a exposure to new people, culture, places, managers, professors, etc.


India—Sweden witnesses’ boom from Indian and other international students during the pandemic

12th October 2020 | India Today

Despite the current Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulties to travel and move internationally, the interest for international degree students to come and study in Sweden has increased by 13% percent. The number of admissions to Swedish universities was 27329 in 2020 foreign students compared to 24 099, last year. International students are not only critical in terms of helping the Swedish economy recover from the corona crisis, but they are also an important source of skilled labour for Swedish companies and provide an important international dimension to classrooms at Swedish universities. Sweden has seen an increase in Indian students choosing to study in the country despite the ongoing pandemic. In comparison to 2019 where 3526 students had applied; 6811 students applied to colleges in Sweden in 2020. Furthermore, there has also been an increase in students applying for masters with 2111 applicants this year (An increase from 2044, in the year 2019).


Bangladesh—Pandemic dashes many Bangladeshis’ dreams of higher studies abroad

14th October 2020 | BD News 24

The uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has been changing lives and trajectories at the beginning of 2020, putting in peril the dreams of students longing for pursuing higher education abroad. According to the UNESCO, around 90,000 students go abroad for higher studies every year from Bangladesh. The popular destinations for these students include the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and other European countries, India, China, Malaysia, Japan, and New Zealand. The foreign embassies had stopped issuing new visas after the US, the UK and other European countries-imposed entry restrictions on foreign nationals. Some of the countries have now lifted the restrictions, but not to such a level that can calm the jangled nerves of the students. The US Embassy in Dhaka has begun receiving visa renewal applications after a suspension of services for a few months due to the coronavirus crisis. Only the people who were already students in the US and want to resume their studies there and a few other types of non-immigrant visa holders (with their visas expired) can apply for a visa renewal. New students are still barred from applying for a visa.


Exam Updates

India

NEET Result 2020 declared

16th October 2020 | First Post

The National Testing Agency (NTA) has declared the NEET 2020 results on its official websites. NEET is conducted annually for admission to medical and allied courses across the country. Based on the cut-off, students are admitted to 80,005 MBBS, 26,949 BDS, 52,720 AYUSH and 525 BVSc and AH seats in medical and dental colleges. This year, NEET marks will be required for admission in 15 AIIMS and two JIPMER institutes.

ICAI CA exams postponed

14th October 2020 | The Times of India

ICAI CA exams scheduled for November have been postponed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Earlier, the exams were scheduled to be held from November 1 to 18 but got postponed given prevailing circumstances. As per the new schedule, the CA exams will now be held from November 21 to December 14.

Students who missed JEE Advanced to get a chance to directly reappear next year

13th October 2020 | Tribune India

Candidates who could not take JEE Advanced this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic will get a chance to reappear directly for the exam next year. It has been decided to allow all the candidates, who had successfully registered to appear for JEE Advanced 2020 but were absent in the exam, to appear for JEE-Advanced next year, as a one-time measure.


Bangladesh

Public universities decide to have admission tests amid pandemic

17th October 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The Association of Universities of Bangladesh (AUB) has initially decided to hold university admission tests for the academic year 2020-21 amid the Covid-19 pandemic following the cancellation of HSC and equivalent examinations this year. The decision was taken at a meeting of AUB, the organization of vice-chancellors (VC), at a virtual meeting. At the meeting, the VCs of all public universities discussed the possibility of holding the admission tests online.


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka holds exams amid new COVID-19 cluster

12th October 2020 | News First

Sri Lanka’s Education Ministry held a grade five scholarship examination across the country. The exam was held under strict health guidelines as a new cluster detected on the outskirts of capital Colombo raised the total COVID-19 patient count to above 4,700. Education Ministry officials said the Grade 5 scholarship exam was held in leading schools across the country and 331,694 candidates sat for the exam at 2,936 examination centres.


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