Expat students fear for their degrees as international unis shut down

Published:  18 Mar at 6 PM
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As coronavirus lockdowns and closures spread across the world, international students at foreign universities are facing challenges which may mean the end of their degree education.

Universities in the UK, the USA and Europe are now shutting their doors due to the pandemic, leaving expat students all over the first world afraid for their futures should they not be able to finish their courses and sit for their degrees. At best, online learning is expected to be set up all across international academia, but exams are uncertain as it’s less than practical as a solution and distance learning isn’t as effective as face-to-face classes.

Countries affected by the spreading virus are recalling all university-level students, urging them to return immediately their courses are discontinued. In the UAE, its Crisis and Disaster Management Authority is advising immediate returns to the Emirates as it’s possible the group may mandate their compulsory return. Authorities are expecting the closures to last as long as to the end of the present academic year.

With campuses shutting down across the academic world, students will need to rely on online coursework as preparation for examinations. Science and medical students as well as other disciplines which depend on face to face, in-lab experience are expected to be worst hit, with many having paid up-front for their courses as well as for accommodation.

At present, the academic world isn’t making any plans to reimburse expat students, and another issue is time zones in that many online courses run overnight. The prospect of studying all night and sleeping during the day isn’t popular with those still attempting to get that all-important degree under these circumstances.
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