ZHEJIANG (China): China plans to allow international students, including those from Malaysia, to return soon to resume their studies, said foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said priority will be given to final-year students and those who need to use laboratory facilities for fields of study involving research that cannot be done online.
The subject of international students was one of many discussed in the inaugural meeting of the Malaysia-China high level committee on post-Covid-19 cooperation co-chaired by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
“Wang Yi informed me that Malaysia was among the highest on the list of countries with students in China.
“He did not say when (students could start returning), but from what he told me, they want (the process to begin) as soon as possible,” he told the Malaysian media here today.
Saifuddin said there were about 8,000 Malaysians studying in China, but they had to return home when Covid-19 began spreading in the country last year.
He said Malaysia was currently waiting for the Chinese government’s announcement on the conditions and processes for students to return to their respective universities.
As most of them were private students, he said, the ministry will work together with the Malaysian alumni. “Since they have formed a network, I offered to help facilitate the relationship with Malaysian students who are waiting to return to China.”
Malaysian students in China pursue various fields of study including science and technology, language and traditional medicine, he said.
There are more than 100 Malaysian students still in China at this time.
Saifuddin is on a two-day official visit to China from Friday, at the invitation of Wang Yi.