When asked about when students since “many categories of foreign nationals have been allowed to enter China on various grounds following Covid protocols”, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said he was “not aware of the specifics” surrounding the issues international students have been facing.

But he said “the Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of overseas students in China”.

“It requires colleges and universities to keep in close contact with overseas students, carefully arrange online courses for them, and properly address their legitimate concerns and needs,” he continued.

“While taking effective epidemic prevention and control measures, China will assess the situation concerning resumption of studies in China for foreign students and will continue discussing that with all parties.”

“China will assess the situation concerning resumption of studies in China for foreign students”

The statement from the Foreign Ministry will likely not be enough to satisfy international students however, who have previously reported struggles in contacting their universities, low quality of online education and said that their qualifications in fields such as medicine will not be accepted back home if done remotely.

Those not in the country also said their scholarship stipends have been suspended.

“We definitely understand the difficulties some students are having,” said China Admissions founder Richard Coward, who added the company was gathering feedback from students and sharing this with universities, and also working to help develop new online programs in order to help students.

“[Border openings are] based on the coronavirus cases around the world and government policy. We can just look at what has happened so far and we can expect a similar pattern.

“The border was opened up in phases with some closer, and lower risk countries first,” he continued.

“Those with a work visa were first to be able to return. Students from Korea have been able to return and get student visas since July.

“However as there was a resurgence in Covid cases around the world, some workers from certain countries are now no longer able to return. When cases reside, we expect next will be those with a work visa and students from closer, low risk countries.”

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