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Universities sending students home early

By ZOU SHUO | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-30 08:59

Some universities have allowed students to return home and started online learning amid the recent COVID-19 outbreaks.

Tsinghua University has arranged shuttle buses to take students who want to go home to major train stations and airports in Beijing from Tuesday to Sunday to ensure students' safety.

The free buses will not make any stops and students should book them online in advance, the university said.

The university also started hybrid teaching from Nov 26 with students choosing whether to go to the classroom for classes or take them online.

China Agricultural University has also arranged free buses to Beijing's train stations and airports.

The university has sealed off its campuses since Nov 24, after a pooled sample tested positive on the day.

Many teachers and faculty members have volunteered to live in student dormitories to help students get through the difficult times.

Wearing protective suits and equipment, the teachers help to distribute meals and other daily necessities to students.

Du Mingwei, an associate professor at the university, was one of the earliest volunteers.

"When the outbreak hit campuses and affected students' daily lives and studies, I felt very protective and wanted to do something for them," he said. As a Party member, it is an obligation to face difficulties head-on, he said.

Zhang Xuyang, a senior undergraduate student at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, returned to his hometown in Xi'an, Shaanxi province on Monday.

The university has allowed students to leave the campus since Nov 23 and he wanted to stay in school until he had taken his final exams.

However, as the outbreak became more serious in Beijing, he felt it was necessary for him to go home early, he said.

Many of his classmates have also returned to their homes, and only some who have signed up for the national postgraduate entrance exam have stayed to prepare for the test, Zhang said.

At Wuhan University, where clusters of COVID-19 infections have been reported, the university has sealed off several campuses since Nov 25.

More than 1,000 teachers and faculty have been mobilized in assisting students in fighting the outbreak, including distributing free meals every day to more than 50,000 students.

Starting from Tuesday, the university has lifted restrictions on dormitory buildings that have not reported any new COVID-19 cases for five days.

It will continue to make sure online teaching runs smoothly and final exams will be conducted online.

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