Under 4% of students intend to cancel study abroad plans
The vast majority of prospective study abroad students still intend to pursue their plans, an educations.com survey has revealed.
Even amidst all of the turmoil and uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, a recent survey has found that less than 4% of the students surveyed were planning to cancel their future plans.
The educations.com survey aimed to establish how COVID-19 has impacted the plans of prospective study abroad students.
Overall, the report’s findings were unexpectedly positive, as the platform declared that ‘desire to study remains strong but uncertainty creeps up.’
The platform collected over 2,700 responses, in a survey that took place in October this year.
This follow-up report was created as a point of comparison to a previous survey that was conducted in March, in order to gauge the extent to which the pandemic had caused students’ perceptions and opinions to change across this six month period.
78% of students still plan to commence study abroad in the next two years
The October educations.com report found that 78% of prospective students still plan to begin their international study in the next two years.
However, amongst all of this positivity, there has been a rise in the proportion of students who are uncertain about their future plans, as the number of students responding ‘I don’t know yet’ rose from 10% to 15% in October.
Other alternative options that are being considered by these students include postponing their studies for the present (an option that 39% of respondents were considering) and choosing a different host country (14% of students). Of those who are postponing their studies, many plan to spend their time productively, in employment (expressed by 59%), other forms of study (49%), in an internship (23%), or doing voluntary work (21%).
In reflection of the situation that the global pandemic has necessitated, the proportion of prospective students who responded as either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ interested in studying online has risen from 20.3% to 22.5%, while one third of students are willing to study online until the current COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
Students unsure about online study as a substitute for study abroad on campus
However, the feedback that has been received regarding online studies has not been entirely positive.
As one student responded to the question of undertaking their study abroad programme online: “Not fun! I won’t get the full experience of being in uni. And I am not paying 19,000 pounds for online classes. That’s a waste of money.”
Another respondent stated that: “My mental health would be affected and I don’t want to stay inside my house. I want to study abroad to explore.”
In our previous report of another study by educations.com, we outlined the fact that housing and tuition costs were the two key factors that were impacting the world’s prospective study abroad students.
This most recent report from educations.com found that the prevailing concerns about studying online have not changed. These continue to involve matters such as the ‘lack of social interaction with classmates’, and the ability to ‘stay focused and self-motivated’.
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