Britain's quality education has been highly attractive to hundreds of thousands of Chinese over the years, but many such students now face a dilemma: should they stay where they are and push on with their studies, or should they return to China, where they may feel safer?
As British universities have closed, meaning students have to do remote learning, many Chinese have opted to go home.
Luo Hannan, a health economics master's student at the London School of Economics, said she was fortunate that she decided relatively early to take a flight back to China, which cost 3,252 Chinese yuan ($458 or 370 pounds) from London to Shanghai via Moscow.
Even given the risk she might have exposed herself to during the long-haul international flights, Luo said she still thinks it was wise to return home given the unclear safety guidelines issued by the British government at the time.
Another consideration was whether overstayers would receive proper healthcare, which was unclear at that time, given the limited health resources in the UK.
As many UK-based Chinese students faced difficulties in getting back to China because of the pandemic, China's Foreign Ministry arranged a charter flight, in coordination with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, to bring the students back on April 2.
The UK has more than 220,000 Chinese students at 154 universities and about 15,000 Chinese teenagers at more than 1,000 British private schools, making China the top source of overseas students in the UK, according to the Chinese embassy in London.
责编 | 杨宁
审稿 | 李栋
校稿 | 吕放福利：