May 7, (PTI) the UK University, London has requested students to contact varsity support service in case they need any help or guidance during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Indian government declared on Monday to initiate phased repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad from May 7.
On Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in New Delhi that from May 7 to May 13, 64 flights will operate by Air India to bring back around 15,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad in this global pandemic of COVID-19.
Indian students still face a long wait in the UK as the Indian government’s first phase of repatriations from the UK to India begins from Thursday. Meanwhile, in this hard time, the UK University ensures the students that they need not worry the support continues to be available.
Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, which represents 143 UK university leaders convey his message to the Indian students that they are aware that many Indian students are worried about money and accommodation and they are missing their families and are understandably distressed to be far from home during this global pandemic. My message to those students is: please, please speak to your university.
She further mentioned that they may be able to fix everything, but there are people on hand who will do everything they can to make things manageable for you. Our Universities are giving support in the form of funding, food, accommodation and advice, and guidance.
The UK University explained that the proper support will be offered to the students including the food delivery to the students, giving hardship funds for students in financial difficulty, relinquishing accommodation fees or moving international students into accommodation where they can look after them by providing cleaning, security and catering pastoral and mental health support.
An Indian student at Birmingham City University (BCU) name Jaspreet Singh advice his fellow BCU students that he knows to be an international student the parents are too much worried about their children. You should take the help of the University, as the BCU provides the amazing support team when needed. Make sure that the students of BCU use this help properly.
The University also explains the immediate steps that will be taken in force to support students who may feel abandoned as a result of the coronavirus crisis and need support.
All the students have been moved to university-owned accommodation around the city into campus accommodation by the University. The University is also providing free three meals a day to the students and also providing the availability of financial assistance to students who find themselves in crisis.
has implemented a dedicated helpline for students, which operates seven days a week, and has introduced a fund to Solent University and the University of Bangor has been supporting students stuck in the UK to access hardship funding.
A helpline for students has been implemented by the Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland. This will operate seven days a week and provide funds and support to the students through the COVID-19 crisis as well as compensate the rent for April and May.
After Chinese students, India is one of the largest groups of international students from outside the European Union (EU) studying at universities in Britain. The thousand of students are worried as India ban International flights in the middle of March.
Some other groups like National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK (NISAU-UK) and Indian National Students Association (INSA) are also organizing food deliveries and other donations through the lockdown.
The expiry date for foreign students or professionals on visas that had expired or expiring has given an extension by the UK Home Office. The students from different parts of India including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Uttarakhand are happy with the decision but worried at the same time due to limited resources at their disposal.
A ticket cost Rs 50,000 on one of the initial seven Air India repatriation flights organized by the government of India.
~ Neha Dhingra