Some universities have agreed to defer admissions until the next semester. However, this does not always guarantee a seat, which leaves students like Surena Shrestha worried.
She says: “Many of us are in competitive fields and are applying to highly sought after universities. I may not be able to attend if the admission is deferred.”
The situation is even more dire for undergraduate students, who have already lost a year because of Nepal’s delayed academic calendar that is some months behind international schedules. Many students had put together the necessary money for their fees, which they had hoped to pay through part-time work in the destination country.
Now that they are unable to go abroad, they are paying loan interest ranging from Rs30-100,000 on the money they borrowed. Besides, if they are unable to go this semester, they may have to apply again the next time around, and give tests like IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, or GRE, which are valid for 2-5 years and cost $75-200 each.
Nepali students abroad in pandemic limbo, Sanghamitra Subba
The Ministry of Education says it has no plans to start issuing NOCs in the near future. Now, with the lockdown extended, the possibility looks even more remote.
“This is for the students’ own safety. They should not be travelling abroad at such a critical time, they might contract Covid-19 if they travel to infected countries,” says Ram Sharan Sapkota of the Ministry of Education. “Students may complain today, but tomorrow if they get infected, they will blame the government for not taking care of them.”
Students say such remarks are proof that the government does not care about their future, and add that they do not need the government to tell them about risks. The NOC is the document that is required before they can get all the other travel papers and tickets, and they blame bureaucrats who wield too much arbitrary power.