Scholarship students have option to defer study

Samoan students who have won scholarships under the China–Samoa Bilateral Scholarship Award have the option of applying for a one-year deferral of their scholarship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chinese Embassy spokesperson Lu Jinzhe, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer, said there are a total of 22 students who received scholarships for the 2020–2021.

“Twenty-two students remained in Chinese Government Scholarship 2020-2021,” he said in an email. “Some of them chose to study online at respective Chinese universities and some applied for one-year deferment of scholarship.”

The embassy official added that the date for the students to resume their studies in China will depend on the uplifting of international border restrictions.

“About all Samoan students who are going to leave for China, it still depends on pandemic control and border restriction policies of relevant countries.”

Samoan students who were studying in the Chinese city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the coronavirus early last year – were repatriated nearly a year ago on an Air New Zealand charter flight.

They arrived in Auckland to undergo a 14-day quarantine process and returned to Samoa in February last year.

Asked about when these students can return to China or if there are any plans to send them back to China, he said: “Students used to study in Wuhan were provided with opportunities to study online by their universities.”

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