Multiple Chinese universities delay start of spring semester



Several universities and colleges across China have postponed starting the spring semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement came after the Ministry of Education stressed student safety when starting the spring semester at a January 31 press conference and urged schools to link online and offline education and get ready to adopt online learning when necessary.

Universities in Beijing and the provinces of Anhui, Hebei and Jilin have already announced the move. Meanwhile, Hefei University of Technology in east China's Anhui Province has delayed the start of the upcoming spring semester for a week, requiring its teachers and staff to home-quarantine for a week before returning to campus.

Yanshan University in Qinhuangdao, north China's Hebei Province, issued a notice requiring students to return to school in different batches based on their area of study. A negative COVID-19 certificate within seven days and a green health code are a must. Students from high-risk areas and overseas are suggested not to return to school temporarily.

Universities have been asked to carefully implement anti-virus measures, ensure students' well-being and provide for their study and leisure needs during the holiday, said Wang Dengfeng, a senior official with the Ministry of Education.

As many students heed the country's call to stay put during the upcoming Spring Festival to prevent COVID-19 spread, Chinese universities are expected to see the number of students spending the holiday on campus quadruple that of previous years.

(With input from Xinhua)

(Cover image via CFP)