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 27 – November 02, 2020.

Stay Safe.


Indian students speak of depression and isolation at UK universities under lockdown, some plan to return to India

01st November 2020 | The Times of India

Indian students in Manchester have spoken of their isolation and depression at being stuck in their rooms all day since all teaching went online and the city moved into a harsh lockdown owing to rising COVID-19 cases. Five joined a protest outside the university offices holding placards saying “Are we paying £22k for this?” and “Was it worth me flying from India to attend an online class?”. The students want greater offline social activities, blended teaching, mental health support and a reduction in fees. Many Indian students want to go back to India at Christmas and stay until the spring. They don’t see the point of being here as their courses are all online, student bars are closing and a lot of events are online. Already 50% didn’t come back in September. The UoM (The University of Manchester) said online teaching would be reviewed on November 11, that the campus remained open, and insisted there were lots of activities.

COVID-19 opens unique opportunities for Indian students to study abroad

29th October 2020 | Outlook India

While the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the education sector globally, it is also a time of great opportunities for Indian students. This is one of the years where detailed attention to all aspects of the application process, especially facets related to personal statements, essay prompts, resumes, extra and co-curricular activities become crucial. With many schools making standardized tests like SAT, GRE, and GMAT optional, admissions offices are paying more attention to the holistic student to determine the ‘best fit’ for their programs.

Exam Updates

JEE Main 2021 dates for January, April exams to be announced soon

01st November 2020 | NDTV

The National Testing Agency (NTA) will soon announce the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main 2021 dates. The Engineering entrance exam is conducted twice every year, in January and April. The official notification, mentioning the JEE Mains 2021 complete syllabus, exam pattern, registration process, and other information, will be released on the official website, jeemain.nta.nic.in

Mumbai University Results in 2020: MU BCom, LLB results declared on mumresults.in

30th October 2020 | Times Now

Mumbai University (MU) has declared the results for various undergraduate programmes like BCom and LLB courses on the official website. More than 95% of the candidates have been declared passed in the BCom exams while 86 per cent have cleared the LLB exams. A per the results more than 50 per cent of the candidates have bagged first-class results and at least 4 students have scored full marks in the theory papers. In LLB exams almost 600 students have scored 100 per cent marks in at least one subject. 4400 students took the final year LLB exams this year.

IGNOU OPENMAT result in 2020 declared

30th October 2020 | India

The National Testing Agency (NTA) has declared the IGNOU OPENMAT XLVII Results in 2020 on its official website ignouexams.nta.nic.in. Students may visit the aforementioned website and check their scores. The entrance exam for OPENMAT XLVII (MBA) 2020 and PhD 2020 was held on September 15, 2020, and October 4, 2020, respectively.

University of Mumbai to seek an extension from UGC to complete IDOL exams

28th October 2020 | Hindustan Times

The University of Mumbai (MU) will be approaching the University Grants Commission (UGC) to seek an extension on the October 31 deadline for completion of all online exams. While exams of students studying in all 800-odd MU-affiliated colleges have already been concluded, the varsity will be seeking the deadline extension for its distance education wing, the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL), the exams for which are currently underway. This decision comes days after Maharashtra minister for higher and technical education announced that all state universities in need of an extension of the deadline for completion of online exams should approach UGC via the state’s disaster management committee on an individual level.

NEET 2021 registration for MDS begins

27th October 2020 | India Today

The online application process for National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) MDS 2021 has started on the official website, nbe.edu.in. The National Board of Examinations (NBE) will conclude the registration process of NEET MDS 2021 on November 15, 2020. The NEET MDS 2021 entrance test will be conducted on December 16 at various test centres across the country. Further, the NEET MDS entrance exam results will be declared by December 31, 2020.

YouTube Discussions

The International Student Seminar – What you need to know about studying in the UK

28th October 2020 | Times Higher Education

To help support prospective international students seeking to study in the UK, Times Higher Education, founder of the THE World University Rankings hosted an expert-led webinar to answer some vital questions on everything you need to know about studying in the UK. Watch Video


School, college shutdown extended till Nov 14

29th October 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The government has extended the closure of all educational institutions except madrasas across Bangladesh till November 14, to prevent Covid-19 transmission. The education minister, however, said the opening of educational institutions might be considered – on a limited scale, by maintaining health safety measures – after two weeks. The government has been running a distance-learning program through Television for schools and colleges. Classes are taking place on Facebook and YouTube for primary and secondary-level students as well. Many universities have also started online classes to keep up with their coursework.

Exam Updates

Education Minister of Bangladesh suggests combined public university entrance exam

2nd November 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The Education Minister asked the authorities of public universities to hold a combined examination for admissions. Education Minister, Dr Moni made the call while addressing a virtual meeting on the university admission system. The Education Ministry and University Grants Commission (UGC) have been trying to convince the universities to take combined admission tests to reduce the hassles for students and guardians. Dr Moni stated that most of the universities have already reached a consensus over the matter.

UGC to allow in-person practical classes, exams at a limited scale

28th October 2020 | The Daily Star

The University Grants Commission is going to allow private university students, who are at their final semester, to attend practical classes and exams in person. These classes will be held following strict health guidelines and maintaining six feet distance between two students. A maximum of 10 students from each class will be allowed to attend the lab classes and exams, and only one class will take place per day.


Students fear coronavirus more than their exams

31st October 2020 | Kathmandu Post

The exams, which were scheduled to begin on May 3, were postponed owing to the pandemic. The board published the schedule for in-person tests starting November 20 after the clearance from the Ministry of Education to hold the examination. But there are changes in the format. The examinees will take a written examination for 40 per cent of the total weightage, additional 40 per cent evaluation would be done based on their performance in grade 11 and the remaining 20 per cent based on an internal evaluation by the respective schools. The board normally conducts the tests in May and publishes the results by October. Experts on public health say this is a wrong time to hold in-person tests. Dr GD Thakur, former director-general of the Department of Health, said the patient load is doubling every week and there is already a shortage of hospital beds.

Sri Lanka

41,500 students will be enrolled in Universities

31st October 2020 | Daily News

41,500 students will be enrolled into Universities this year, the University Grants Commission said. Students who sat for the GCE Advanced Level examination in 2019 will also be enrolled. 10,000 more students are to be enrolled this year, in comparison with last year.

Exam Updates

A/L candidates allowed to use non-programmable calculators for accounting paper

30th October 2020 | Adaderana

Non-programmable calculators are allowed to be used for the subject of accounting at the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination from this year onward, says the Commissioner General of Examinations. Any inquiries on permitting candidates to use non-programmable calculators can be made from the Examinations Department. The Advanced Level commenced on October 12 amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 and it is set to come to and on November 6.


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