A growing number of Chinese students are postponing plans to return to Korean universities after their winter break due to the threat of coronavirus.
The trend points to a reversal of perceptions, which now make China feel safer than Korea, not least due to the propaganda efforts of the Chinese regime.
Some are fleeing back to China. Seven Chinese students at Daegu University in the epicenter of new infections returned home recently. They had already come back ahead of the start of the new academic year and staying in their dormitory, only to pack up and leave as infections in the city spiked.
One Chinese student at Seoul National University medical school also returned home at the behest of his family in Yanbian, China.
The same trend is evident among Chinese students at universities in North Chungcheong Province. At Chungbuk National University, 90 Chinese students were supposed to return to the school on Wednesday, but only 33 did, while at Cheongju University in the province only eight of 21 students turned up as planned.
At the University of Ulsan, 169 out of 277 Chinese students have postponed plans to come back. Seven told the school that they will not be returning.
Kangwon National University said only 14 of its 148 Chinese students set to start there this year have said they are coming. Inha University in Incheon said five out of 15 Chinese students who said they would return on Tuesday did not and gave no explanation.
According to the Education Ministry, out of 1,309 Chinese students who were set to arrive on Tuesday ahead of the start of the academic year in early March, 471 did not arrive. The previous day, 146 of 965 did not come.
But another 33,000 Chinese students, which account for 48 percent of all Chinese students studying here, are expected to arrive for the new semester.
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