china news updates
Many foreign students are still waiting for China news updates that would bring them a step closer to returning to the country. Source: Wang Zhao/AFP

Many international students are still waiting for China news updates that would bring them a step closer to returning to the country to start or complete their degrees. Currently, only selected groups of students have been allowed in.

One group of students, however, received some welcome China news updates from their university.

According to The Chronicle, a group of Duke Kunshan University (DKU) students received notice last week that their return to China had been formally authorised, according to an email obtained by The Chronicle sent from Marcia France, associate vice chancellor for undergraduate studies at DKU.

DKU’s senior director of strategic marketing and public relations Lydia Jin was quoted saying that over 100 international students were approved to return in this first group. In an email, Jin said these students had “previously stated their willingness to return to DKU and comply with all testing and quarantine requirements”.

They represent nine countries: the US, Ethiopia, France, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan, Russia and Singapore. 

Students must decide by June 10, 2022 to accept the offer to return to China due to the time constraints of the authorisation, said the email. It also included requirements for students to enter China, which states that students must travel on a direct flight from their country of nationality.

China news update: Students still fighting to return

On Twitter, student campaigns to return to China are still going strong. Student group Pak China Student Council published an open letter addressed to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

“As you know, 7,000 students have been stranded in Pakistan since January 2020 and it’s been more than 2.5 years since we were stuck in our homes. Our degrees are at stake,” read the letter. The group added that the issue has been raised numerous times. 

Back in February, a joint statement released by China and Pakistan said China would arrange for Pakistani students to return to China but did not give a timeline. 

“Both sides noted with satisfaction robust cooperation between Pakistan and China in education (sic) sector, and committed to further enhance cooperation between the educational institutions of the two countries,” read the statement. 

Pak China Student Council claimed: “But due to the negligence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and HEC Pakistan the whole process is delayed without any logical reason.

“The Ministry tweeted on May 13, 2022 that they will send the first batch by May 30, 2022 and then May 31, 2022 about sending students on June 7 now its June 8 today and still we haven’t received any confirmation about the first batch flight date.”

International students locked out of China have been campaigning for their return on Twitter through hashtags such as #TakeStudentsBacktoChina and #TakeUsBackToChina. 

Pakistani students, on the other hand, have been rallying behind the hashtag #PMSavePakStudentsOfChina on Twitter as part of their ongoing fight to return to universities in China.