Nearly 1,000 Bangladeshi students who got scholarships and fellowships at different German universities are not able to go to Germany due to visa complications, thanks to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
Bangladeshi students studying at various German universities demanded that student visas be handled as emergency and special services during the lockdown.
If the foreign ministry takes the initiative, they will be able to go to Germany easily, students said.
They made the demand at a press conference at the Sagar-Runi auditorium of Dhaka Reporters' Unity, on Monday.
Bangladeshi students destined for various German universities held the press conference under the banner of 'Bring student visas under emergency and special services-It's our only demand'.
Rayhanul Islam, student at Technical University of Berlin, Samsul Akram, student at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Kazi Sarafat Islam, student at Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden, University of Applied Sciences (FH), were among others present at the press conference.
They will have to physically attend their educational institutions in Germany by this coming August, although they have been attending classes online from Bangladesh for almost a year. If they cannot go, their university administrations may cancel their studentship, students said.
Md Nazim Uddin, student at OTH Amberg Weiden University in Germany, said more than 1,000 students who were admitted to more than 350 German universities last year are now stuck in Bangladesh.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, they can now attend classes online, but various German universities have already informed their students by letter that they have to be present in classes next semester. For this, they have to attend their respective universities by next August.
Md Nazum Uddin said of the students who applied for visa interviews and visas in June last year, only 150 completed their visa process at the German embassy. After that about 1,000 students applied but did not get visas. Due to the lockdown in Bangladesh, the work of issuing German visas is closed, but this can be done by following the health rules.
Students who got stuck in Bangladesh have already submitted a memorandum to the foreign ministry on steps to expedite the visa process.
Students at the press conference said that in the last one year, more than 1,000 Bangladeshi students have been admitted to various universities in Germany for higher study and have been attending online classes for the last three semesters (Summer 2020, Winter 2020-21, Summer 2021). They are now waiting to go to Germany.
Rayhanul Islam, a student at the Technical University of Berlin, said students who got the same scholarships from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other countries, have already gone to Germany.
The embassies in those countries made separate arrangements for them. Only most Bangladeshi students have not been able to go to Germany yet. If the government takes initiatives in this regard, the visa complexities can be minimised like in other countries, they added.