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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 January 25, 2021 – February 01, 2021.

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India

Australia ‘longs’ to welcome Indian friends, family and students back: PM Scott Morrison

26th January 2021 | sbs.com

“Australia longs for when we can welcome our Indian friends, family and students back to our shores,” the Australian prime minister said in his congratulatory message on India’s Republic Day. India is the largest source of migrants to Australia. The total permanent Migration Program outcome for 2018-19 was 160,323 places, of which 33,611 places went to Indian citizens. India also exports the greatest number of temporary residents, including students and tourists to Australia. However, students and other temporary visa holders have not been able to travel to Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “we look forward to the day when we can move more freely, and we are safely on the other side of the pandemic. This year our nations have responded to a global pandemic. This has meant the free flow of peoples between our two countries is not what it traditionally has been.

UK not a top destination for Indian students this year with lockdown, COVID-19 fears

25th January 2021 | Money Control

The United Kingdom which is the sought-after destination for higher education among Indian students may take a backseat amidst the new lockdown and fears of the Coronavirus outbreak. Overseas education consultants said that students who had earlier opted for a UK degree are now either switching to other countries like US, Singapore and Australia or choosing to stay back in India. Between 40,000-45,000 students travel to UK from India for higher education purposes each year. For FY20, the figure was 49,844 as per UK’s Office for National Statistics which was the highest since 2011. However, FY21 and FY22 may throw a different picture. Students who were originally supposed to join in September 2020 had postponed their plans to February 2021 in hopes of getting to attend physical classes. Considering the new COVID-19 strain, that is no longer the case.


Exam Updates

CBSE Class 12 Date Sheet to release on February 2

1st February 2021 | NDTV

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will release the Class 12 time table for the board exams 2021 on February 2. As soon as the CBSE Class 12 date sheet 2021 is released, students due to take the upcoming board exam 2021 will be able to access it from the CBSE websites — cbse.nic.in and cbseacademic.nic.in.

Anna University ups its tech game for upcoming online exams

31st January 2021 | The Times of India

Anna University students can use a mobile app on their smartphones or a secure browser on their laptops and desktops to take their online exams set to begin on February 1. This marks the second time the university is conducting semester exams online. The university said the online tests would carry 80% weightage and viva-voce, to be conducted after the online exam, 20%. The new measures are more user-friendly. Students can take the exams even with even weak internet connection.

Mumbai University extends deadline for PhD and MPhil entrance exam applications

29th January 2021 | The Free Press Journal

University of Mumbai released a notification extending the deadline for submission of applications for Ph.D. and MPhil entrance examinations. Aspirants wanting to pursue Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programmes under the University of Mumbai (MU) can now apply for the Preliminary Eligibility Test (PET) till February 4.

IP University end-semester exams postponed

28th January 2021 | The Times of India

Owing to poor internet services in Delhi, Indraprastha University has decided to postpone its online proctored end-semester exam scheduled. The new date will be decided soon, and in a way that it does not overlap with any other exam. Many students appearing for the exam on complained that they were unable to register due to lack of internet services.


YouTube Discussions

The Role of the TEQSA in regulating and Quality Assurance in Australian HEIs

29th January 2021 | NAAC

In this session meet representatives from Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) sharing their views on teaching, learning, student experience, quality assurance of online learning and opportunities available in Australia for international students. This session answers queries of students and parents with clarity on Higher Education in Australia. Watch Video


Bangladesh

Dhaka University (DU) to open residence facilities on March 13

31st January 2021 | Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka University (DU) authorities have decided to open-up its dormitories from March 13, after a year of being closed. However, residence facilities will be open for only undergraduate and postgraduate program final year and final semester students. The academic council of the university, chaired by Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman, made the decision in line with approving recommendation by the Provost Committee. Confirming the matter, DU VC Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman said that only the students (those being prioritized) already having residential status will be allowed in the dorms. “But they all will be able to sit for their exams.” We have prepared and are now finalizing the list of the exam candidates. We will divide the departments in some clusters and hold the exams simultaneously.


Exam Updates

HSC, Equivalent Tests results out on January 30

30th January 2021 | Daily Star

The results of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams of 2020 under 11 education boards, nine general education boards, one madrasa education board and one technical education board was published on January 30. The government could not hold the HSC and equivalent exams due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The HSC batch of 2020 is the first batch of students who will get certificates without sitting for the examinations as it is the first time in the history of the country that a public examination was cancelled. 


Nepal

Exam Updates

Results of Grade 12 board examination made public

1st February 2021 | The Himalayan

The National Examination Board (NEB) has announced the results of the Grade 12 board examination on its official website. NEB had devised a new protocol allowing students to take the exam for 40 percent of marks. The protocol allowed students to sit for the exam at their own schools while the exam hour was also reduced to 1.5 hours from the previous standard time of three hours. 


Sri Lanka

Exam Updates

Positive attendance of GCE Ordinary Level students of Western Province Schools

26th January 2021 | Colombo Page

The schools in the Western Province under the new normal of COVID-19 commenced classes on January 25 for the students who will sit for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination in March and positive student attendance has been reported in all Education Zone, the Ministry of Education announced. Out of all the education zones, the attendance of school children in the Matugama education zone was reported to be 65.5% on the first day. All schools are being conducted in compliance with health recommendations, and the co-operation of all parties, including parents, is vital to the success of this initiative to cover the missed subjects for students appearing for the GCE Ordinary Level Examination, the Ministry emphasized. 


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