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International Education News and Updates Amid COVID-19

International Education News and Updates Amid COVID-19

[23rd March 2020] Canada Updates Exemptions to Travel Restrictions for International Students, Princeton to Resume Classes Remotely, Indian Students Seek Refuge Within UK High Commission Premises

Canada provides updates on exemptions to travel restrictions for international students and foreign nationals who have committed to working, studying or moving to Canada.

The exemptions include international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020. 

Princeton University joins the growing list of schools moving to online classes. Meanwhile, despite the best efforts on the part of schools and the government, thousands of students who went on study-abroad programs remain stranded in various countries. 

Many Indian students stuck in the UK have been relocated to proper accommodations, but 19 students remain in the quarantine areas of the UK High Commission Building. Meanwhile, Chinese students in the UK face a different problem as incidents of racist attacks against them continue to rise.

[21st March 2020] Refunds for US Students; Confusion over Canada’s Border Rules; Advice for UK Students; Quarantined Foreign Students in India; and Tools for Online Classes

Students from several universities in Lehigh Valley in Philadelphia and New Jersey can expect refunds for room and board paid at the start of the school year. Some of the refunds will be prorated only for the time the students are away from the campuses. Fees for room and board in this area ranges from $9,000 to $16,000. 


Students from other states are also demanding refunds for on-campus residence and meal plan fees that have been paid for the entire school year.


Meanwhile, international students are confused and concerned with different announcements regarding the border closure. Some students have been barred from entering the country even as officials state that international students and professionals with work visas will be allowed entry so long as they go through quarantine for 14 days.


In the UK, students are advised to self-isolate, know the helpline their universities have set up, decide whether they will stay on campus or go home, monitor news about exams and the start of the next term, and reach out to their schools’ mental health advisors. 


To comply with the Indian government’s directive to close all schools, Koneru Lakshmaiah University (KLU) has quarantined 600 foreign students who remain in the country due to lockdowns, travel bans, and flight cancellations. 


Meanwhile, more free tools are being shared for schools, teachers, and students from Kindergarten to College who need to conduct lessons online.


[20th March 2020] NAFSA 2020 Is Officially Cancelled, UK Orders Schools Closed, Abrupt Shift To Online Classes Brings New Challenges

After careful consideration and out of concern for attendees, the Board of NAFSA Association of International Educators has decided to cancel NAFSA 2020. The association is aware that international education faces exceptional challenges now. It ensures that it will continue to advocate and find ways to convene and support the field virtually.


The UK government has announced that all schools should close today, March 20, and summer exams are cancelled. Teachers need to evaluate GCSE and A-level results based on predicted grades.  


In India, the University Grants Commission has requested all higher education institutions to postpone exams and evaluations until March 31, and the admission tests scheduled in April will likely be postponed as well.


Meanwhile, the abrupt transition to online classes in the US is bringing new challenges to schools, including attendance monitoring. However, due to this mass transition to distance learning, companies have begun offering free use of their database for a limited time, including e-textbooks and courseware that students can access at home


Several organizations continue to update masterposts that instruct students on how to keep safe and continue studying. In particular, students who opt to continue studying abroad are given some dos and don’ts as they pursue education in a foreign country. 


[19th March 2020]  New Zealand Closes  Border To All Travelers

Only citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) can still come to New Zealand at present. Immediate family must have a valid visa and travel with the country’s citizen or resident family member on the same flight. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.


[19th March 2020] Canada Closes Border, US Imposes Travel Restrictions For 28 European Countries, Housing Challenge Hounds Universities, Students During COVID-19

The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate across the world, with Canada sealing its borders and the United States imposing travel restrictions for 28 European nations. International education suffers a direct blow from the new developments, from travel bans to challenges in student housing and access to campuses. 


Read more from our MSM Reporter coverage here:


[11th March 2020] Travel Bans Continue, Study Abroad Programs Reach A Halt, And Impact Goes Beyond Health And Finance 

The spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to affect education worldwide, with the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declaring it a pandemic. 


Universities lose millions as travel bans prevent foreign students from leaving their countries and international enrollment continues to drop. Schools also have to deal with the cancellation of study-abroad programs, adoption of measures for international students who cannot go home and thus need financial aid, and implementation of measures for people who might have been infected.


More than the financial and health impact of the virus, a growing number of experts and leaders are concerned with its psychological effect on people since anxiety and fear over the outbreak may lead to racism. 


Read more from our MSM Reporter coverage here:

[5th March 2020] Countries Raise Alert Levels, US Schools Cancel Study Abroad Programs, Colleges and Universities Take COVID-19 Measures

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world. Countries like Iran, South Korea, and Austria have raised alert levels and closed schools due to new cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Spring break has begun in the United States, but a growing number of schools have canceled or postponed study-abroad programs for their students. Students who were allowed to go abroad are now being recalled to the US. Some of the schools are even covering the extra cost of flight changes for their students. 


Across regions worldwide, schools are taking added measures and preparing entire procedures in case the virus reaches their communities. Meanwhile, international Chinese students bound for New Zealand are still anxiously awaiting news of the travel ban that affects them. Some international students have also expressed concerns over tuition costs and graduation delays due to the outbreak. 


Read more from our MSM Reporter coverage here:


[5th March 2020] International Education In The Time Of Coronavirus: An Interview With Prof. Sarah Todd

The MSM team sat down for an interview with Prof. Sarah Todd, President of the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE), on the recently announced postponement of the APAIE 2020 Conference and Exhibition until March 2021 due to the global coronavirus outbreak. 


At the helm of the regional association and as Vice President for Global at Griffith University, she offers insight into how international education associations and higher education institutions (HEIs) are grappling with the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on international students and entire communities.