study in China
China’s foreign ministry has assured international students that they will work on their early return to China in a “coordinated manner”. Source: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP

China’s travel ban is now entering its third year, and frustration is mounting among students eager to study in China. Online learning is torpedoing medical students’ future as clinical practice is critical for them to graduate.

However, a press release issued by the Embassy of India in Beijing yesterday assured Indian students that the embassy has continuously highlighted students’ wish to return to China and resume in-person learning with the relevant Chinese authorities in the last two years. 

“In this regard, for medical students, in particular, the issue of in-person education is of paramount importance as it is impossible to undertake such studies in a remote manner,” said the embassy.

Study in China: Online learning puts medical students’ future in a limbo

India’s National Medical Commission issued a notice earlier this month and said it does not recognise or approve fully online medical courses. The council cautioned Indian students to do adequate checks before deciding to study in China for their medical education amid COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

The embassy said the National Medical Commission’s notice had been formally conveyed to the relevant Chinese authorities so that they are mindful of the concerns of Indian students, who are enrolled with them or are planning to enrol at a later date to study in China.

“In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has assured the Embassy that they are cognizant of the welfare of all foreign students, including Indian students, and have also conveyed that they will work on their early return to China in a coordinated manner and will continue contact with the Embassy on this matter,” read the press release.

They add: “Chinese MFA also conveyed that the return of Indian students was not a political issue and they will not be discriminated in any manner while deciding on the return of foreign students to China to resume their education.”

study in China

Indian students wishing to study in China have been advised to monitor embassy updates via their respective websites or social media handles. Source: Manpreet Romana/AFP

The Embassy of India in Beijing said it will continue to work with China on the issue of the movement of people between the two countries. 

“All Indian nationals who are intending to travel to China are advised to remain in touch with the Chinese Embassy in Delhi and Consulates in Mumbai and Kolkata for further information,” it said.

“Indian Embassy and Consulates will also immediately put out further information on this issue, when shared by the Chinese side, on their website and various social media handles.” 

There were mixed reactions on Twitter to the embassy’s reassurances. Many reiterated that they want an exact date for their return to China.

Twitter user Md Shohel Rana said, “Last two years we heared (sic) China put high importance for international students and will arrange scientific coordinated manner for returning international students. But nothing happend. What is coordinated manner?????? When will finish this arrangement? We want exact date.”

Another user, Gigi, said: “‘They will work on..’ meaning they didn’t yet.. we’ve been hearing this for the past 2 years.” 

Some students have been frustrated by their inability to study in China and are choosing to transfer out of Chinese universities.