Students keep study abroad plans alive despite Coronavirus
69% of international students with enrolment offers have continued to keep their study abroad plans alive despite the Coronavirus outbreak, a new study by IDP Connect has found.
The study assessed the current attitudes and motivations of 6,900 international students with offers from institutions across the globe.
The IDP connect study found that the overwhelming majority (69%) of these students do not expect COVID-19 to alter their current study plans and are still hopeful that they will be able to commence study abroad within a few months of their original start dates.
Additionally, just 5% of international students stated that they no longer expect to commence their studies.
Face-to face learning still biggest draw for study abroad students despite Coronavirus
The study also found that 31% of respondents expressed considerable flexibility in willing to initially start their course online.
However, the overwhelming preference of students was to instead defer their start date to January 2021, prioritising face-to-face learning.
These students who would choose deferring over studying online stated that this was due to factors such as its lack of international exposure (expressed by 69%) and concerns regarding the standard of online teaching (felt by 47%).
Furthermore, for those students accepting the potential of deferring start dates, more than half (54%) would only be willing to do so for a year, before they resorted to changing plans or exploring other study options (18% stated a maximum of three months).
These statistics demonstrate that there is still pressure on institutions to return to normal operations quickly.
Study finds continued ‘strong demand’ for education from students
Simon Emmett, CEO of IDP Connect, stressed that institutions need to work hard to maintain the interest of these applicants.
“While it is positive there is still strong demand, there is more work to be done. If destination countries and institutions are to meet this demand, governments, community services and the international education sector will need to come together to find solutions that enable students to arrive in-country and commence face-to-face studies soon.”
Andrew Barkla, CEO of IDP Education, said, “…given the unprecedented challenges the global community is facing”, the outcomes of the research are “encouraging”.
Barkla added: “We all know international education plays a pivotal role in uniting the world through knowledge and cultural exchanges, and this will become even more vital as the global community begins to rebuild after the events of 2020.
“Our role as a sector is to work together to find the right solutions through effective partnerships and technology that creates a new bridge for international students to achieve their global goals.”
Pic: Anugrah Lohiya
Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.
Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org