10/10/2020, 09.46
INDIA
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Covid-19 heavily impacts on Indians studying abroad

by Nirmala Carvalho

Before the outbreak of the health crisis there were 753,000, over 200,000 in the US alone.  Sent back to India by their universities, they ask for a reduction in university fees, faced with paying large sums of money for online courses that often don't work.

 

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The coronavirus emergency has had a very severe impact on Indian youth studying in foreign universities.  Universities in many countries have sent foreign students back to their countries of origin, offering virtual lessons in exchange, which were deemed unsatisfactory by those concerned and their families.

After China, India is the state with the most students attending degree courses abroad.  According to data released by the Foreign Ministry in 2019, there are 753 thousand;  more than 200,000 students enrolled in a university in the United States.

Having lost their part-time jobs as a result of the pandemic, those who have decided not to return to India find it difficult to pay for room and board.  The most serious problem is the lack of certainty about the reopening of courses.

Most students who have chosen a foreign institution want to experience a different culture, and then settle in the host country.  They note that spending money just to attend online classes is unfair, because they pay the tuition fee - which the university does not want to reduce - to access the library, laboratory and other services that are currently unavailable.

For Indian academics, web-based lessons are no substitute for live lessons.  As a student enrolled at Peking University told Scroll.in, Chinese authorities will not renew entry visas until the pandemic crisis is over.  He points out that the online courses offered by his university through DingTalk, a platform developed by Alibaba Group, do not have a regular frequency;  the time zone between China and India also presents logistical problems.

Those who attend North American universities, and have been stranded in India, face similar difficulties.  For example, many Indian families find it makes no sense to pay large sums to US Ivy League colleges for virtual courses.

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