Latest COVID-19 news | Study abroad updates [Weekly updates]
Last Updated on August 28, 2020 by iSchoolConnect
In these COVID-affected times, news articles are all over the place and therefore, difficult to track. Keep reading this blog as we add constant, accurate updates about the latest study abroad COVID-19 news.
Read on and get global news about studying abroad in the times of the Coronavirus times. Take a look at the newest COVID-19 news in higher education:
August (24 August 2020 – 30 August 2020)
The UK visas given to Indian students double in number
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, the number of student visas issued by the UK government to Indian students in 2020 has doubled in number according to the data from UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS). The main reason for this is the new policy of a two-year post-study work visa for international students starting in 2021. It remains to be seen if this number of students traveling will continue to increase and if yes, at what rate?
Canada explains it’s new post-study work visa policies
In early August, Canada announced an updated post-study work policy for the international students affected by COVID-19. Recently, the Canadian government declared new measures regarding the same. PGWP requires a certain duration of education to be completed before it can be issued. Keeping that in mind, here’s what they said:
2-year or more programs: Students can pursue their degrees online until April 30, 2021. Even after doing so, students will still be allowed PGWP as long as at least 50% of their studies are completed in Canada.
8-12 month programs: Those who have chosen these 8-12 month programs with a start date from May to September 2020 will be able to complete their entire program abroad and still be eligible for a PGWP.
Combine program duration: Students who enrolled in a program with a start date between May and September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a PGWP, as long as 50% of the studies are completed in Canada.
August (17 August 2020 – 23 August 2020)
South Korean universities offer partial refunds to international students
In light of these troubling COVID-times, 30 public and 50 private South Korean universities have decided to partially refund students’ tuition fees. This declaration is applicable to all students whose education was interrupted due to COVID-19, including international students. Korea Maritime and Ocean University was one of the first institutions to begin the process of refunds for students. The university declared that 10% of the tuition fees for the spring semester would be refunded to every student affected by these circumstances.
August (10 August 2020 – 16 August 2020)
The US to start issuing student visas on a limited basis in India
We have some fresh, popping news folks! This week, the U.S Embassy and Consulates in India announced that they will now start processing student as well as academic exchange visitor visa applications on a limited basis from August 17! They declared that the Embassy will start processing emergency student and exchange visitor appointment requests received prior to August 12 and then offer public appointments. This news is definitely a relief to all those who wished to study abroad in the US. Student visas are clearly a priority for the U.S Embassy and they suggest on their websites that students should book their appointment slots at least 3 weeks prior.
India allows those with valid visas to travel to the UK, US, Canada, and UAE
Under the ‘Air bubble’ agreements with respective countries, it seems that India is now allowing all those with a valid visa can now travel to the UK, US, Canada, and UAE, declared The Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India. While this agreement does not extend to all countries yet, we hope to see more names in this list of countries, very soon.
August (01 August 2020 – 09 August 2020)
Students who enrolled in Canadian schools before the new visa law are also eligible for PGWP
The Canadian government recently announced that international students who would apply for online curriculums during COVID-19 can live and work in Canada post their degree. However, despite this declaration, many students who’d already enrolled for programs in 2020 worried about being eligible for these new declarations. The Canadian government put all these student questions to rest when they declared that students are their study permit counts as long as their program starts in 2020. They also have to apply for the study permit before September 15 and at least half of their program must be completed in Canada.
July- (27 July 2020 – 31 July 2020)
Visa applications open up for 11 countries including UK and Ireland
Yes, you heard it right! Visa applications in specific categories will be opening for 11 countries: UK, Ireland, South Korea, Turkey, UAE, Italy, Norway, Belarus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, and Portugal. With the approval of the concerned embassies, this process is also set to resume in India. This COVID-19 news was declared by VFS Global, the outsourcing and technology services specialist for countries and governments worldwide.
While most countries are resuming visas in specific categories, UK is accepting visa applications in all categories in 11 cities. However, Ireland is only accepting student and long-stay visa applications, for now. Both UK and Ireland visa applications will start from July 6, 2020.
Possible shift of student preferences during and after the COVID-pandemic
COVID-19 or not, students across all countries still want to study overseas. However, there are many who believe that the countries preferred by international students will rapidly change given the chaos caused by Coronavirus worldwide. According to a few higher education experts, students will soon favor countries such as Germany, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand.
That’s because, in comparison to countries like the United States or other European countries, these countries have done a better job of containing the spread of COVID-19. This indicates that they might be safer study abroad destinations compared to the other previously popular options. According to the Times Higher Education and QS world ranking, this change might also strongly affect the global university rankings.
Canada improvises post-study visa policies for international students
In order to encourage more students to apply to the new online programs at Canadian institutions, the government improvised the visa policies. This policy ensures that international students can live and work in Canada after their degrees despite these programs being online due to Coronavirus. After these announcements, Canadian Minister Marco EL Mendicino, said: “The pandemic has had a significant impact on international students and the Canadian institutions and communities that host them. This is why we have implemented a series of measures to support them.” So, if you’re thinking of applying to Canadian universities during COVID-19, this is your golden chance people!
US denies entry to international students with online-only classes
On July 26, 2020, the Trump administration declared that international students who are currently pursuing completely online classes and programs in US-universities this fall will not be allowed the US student visa post-COVID.”Newly enrolling students can come on valid visas if their schools certify they plan to take at least one course in person for the fall term,” says the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This drastic rule however is not applicable to international students already studying in the US specifically, all students that have enrolled before March 9, 2020.
Australia re-opens visa processes for international students
With the reduced COVID-19 cases in most parts of the country, the Australian government has decided to welcome back international students to their universities. In a recent announcement, the acting immigration minister, Alan Tudge declared that Australia will be issuing visas to students in all locations outside Australia. This act by the Australian government means when borders re-open, students will already have visas and be able to make travel arrangements at their earliest convenience. Not only that, but the Australian government also stated has some good news for international students that currently hold a student visa and are pursuing their degree online from Australian universities. They mentioned that their online education will be counted for the Australian study requirement if the students wish to apply for the post-study work visa.
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